Nasheed proposes switch to parliamentary system

Nasheed proposes switch to parliamentary system
May 12 14:13 2018

Former president Mohamed Nasheed has proposed switching to a parliamentary system after a six-year interim national unity government to oversee transitional justice and constitutional reforms.

The interim government would reform the judiciary and the security services, and ensure the independence of oversight bodies.

“During the first year and a half of these six years, we must provide relief to those Maldivians who have faced loss, sadness and brutality,” the exiled opposition leader said Friday night.

Nasheed was speaking via video link at a rally held in Addu City to launch his campaign for the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s presidential primary.

The MDP has long backed shifting to a parliamentary system after voters were unwilling in both the 2008 and 2013 elections to grant a popular mandate to a single candidate. Both the MDP and the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives won power with the backing of broad coalitions that disintegrated within months.

Coalition agreements have no legal weight under the Maldivian constitution, which was designed for a US-style presidential system.

Maldivians did not envision either an “adversarial political system” or an all-powerful executive branch when multi-party democracy was introduced, Nasheed said.

He reiterated calls for the joint opposition to field a single candidate, who should seek to extend the term of the current parliament beyond March 2019 in order to carry out judicial reform and establish transitional justice.

The constitution could then be amended to switch to a parliamentary system, he added.

The 50-year-old, who remains barred from contesting September’s polls due to a 13-year prison sentence, suggested that his supporters could secure his candidacy.

Nasheed also outlined key components of his “blue economy” manifesto under the slogan ‘Jazeera Raees’ (Island President), including a “low-carbon development strategy,” decentralisation, a minimum wage, a comprehensive social safety net and tariff-free economic centres outside the capital region.

“The purpose of the blue economy is to increase the income of every household. Instead of a faraway SEZ [special economic zone], the centre of development should become an activity conducted in one’s own house,” he said.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael Fahmy (not nickname)
    May 17, 01:12 #1 Michael Fahmy (not nickname)

    I am not, at all, so sure as Mohamed Nasheed and his party, MDP, say that simply changing from a Presidential to a Parliamentary system and form of government will bring about better times in the crisis-ridden Maldivian government.

    The main need is to educate the people and raise political awareness throughout the spectrum of Maldivian society.

    The Constitution should not be tampered with and played with as the whims and fancies of Maldivian politicians feel, wish and desire.

    Politicians and the general public must develop an understanding of and a healthy respect for the concept of the ‘rule of law’. This is the main problem of Maldivian politics, as it has been for a very long time.

    Maldives is still a feudal society as it has been already pointed out by some people. In a feudal society people support policies along family lines and family loyalties. The main interest of a feudal society, like Maldives, is to maintain family power which boils down to family financial interests and their relevant alliances.

    No country and society, to my knowledge, has progressed direct from feudalism to a modern democracy. Between feudalism and modern democracy there are one or two intermediary stages.

    Maldives has not yet entered these intermediary stages and so democracy is a few steps and stages away from Maldives.

    Maldives is an extremely unequal society despite many appearances to the contrary.

    Religious begotry, fanaticism and hatred have no place in democracy and these things that are in plenty and abundance now must disappear and go away from Maldivian society.

    Otherwise there is no democracy. We have something else. It can be called hypocrisy.

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