Thursday 11th Aug 2022
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President Yameen

Pres Yameen reveals stance on Parliamentary system

Former President and opposition leader Abdullah Yameen has revealed his stance on changing the governance system from a Presidential to a Parliamentary system.
Maldivians voted for a Presidential system back in 2007. Former President Mohamed Nasheed had then backed a Parliamentary system of governance.
He once again resurrected the call for a Parliamentary system, going to incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to ask for a referendum on the matter. President Solih had not responded to these calls.
Speaking exclusively to “Adhadhu”, President Yameen said that he had always preferred a Parliamentary system, as elected representatives made up the cabinet and, therefore, was more representative of the public.
However, the Maldives lacked two aspects to implement a Parliamentary system, he said. The absence of these two aspects made him redact his support for a Parliamentary system, he added.
“While theoretically Parliamentary system is a good one and while I support it, it does not apply to the needs of the country,”
President Yameen
Floor crossing and the absence of laws addressing floor crossing was one of these reasons the former President said. When an elected official leaves the Party and crosses over to the opposing side, that elected official can only enter the Parliament and represent his constituents, after he gets re-elected under the new Party, President Yameen added.

The second reason he did not support the change to a Parliamentary system was the influence of money in the country’s politics.
“Almost everything in the Maldives boils down to money, doesn’t it? Those with money and foreign parties would find it very easy to change the system,”
President Yameen
Describing the MDP super majority in the Parliament as a deviation, President Yameen said this super majority would not have been possible if Jumhooree Party had honored the agreement made with Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM).

Here President Yameen is making a reference to the agreement between JP and PPM to collaborate in the 2019 Parliament elections and not contest for the same seats. Due to this agreement, PPM had not contested in several constituencies, and therefore, MDP had gained the super majority.