'Will compete in 2023 elections, bring about parliamentary system' - Nasheed

Speaker of the Parliament and former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed has stated that he will compete in the 2023 presidential race on behalf of the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). He made the statement while speaking on the 'Ask Speaker' program on Monday night.

Nasheed, who is also the leader of MDP said he will compete in the party primary to secure the presidential ticket for the 2023 election. However, instead of having a presidential election in 2023, the country should opt for a parliamentary system of governance as it would be more beneficial for the nation, said Nasheed. He added that attempts to change the governance system will be successful.

"I will try to bring about this change. I believe this change can be brought to the country's constitution. I believe even the Progressive Party of Maldives, PPM will support the change," Nasheed said.

This is the first time Nasheed has clearly stated that he will compete in the 2023 election. When asked regarding his statement, Nasheed said his statement should not come as a surprise. He further said President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has not expressed interest in running for a second term, although Nasheed has always said he would compete in the election.

Nasheed recently sent a message to President Solih expressing his desire to become the Prime Minister of the Maldives. A message sent to President Solih said he wished to discuss changing the governance system to a Parliamentary system. In his message, Nasheed said he no longer wished to remain on the sidelines and that he wished to be part of running the country as Prime Minister. He called on the president to dissolve the government and to cancel the 2023 presidential election, and change the system to a parliamentary system through the parliament. Nasheed further said he thought it would be best to bring the change in February 2023, and that the parliament should run the country until the next parliamentary election in 2024.

However, PResident Solih's thoughts on the matter are different. President Solih said there was no time to consider Nasheed's proposal and that his main focus was on fulfilling the pledges made to the people. He further pointed out that the change in the governance system is a decision that the people must make.

Speaking on the Ask Speaker forum, Nasheed said the President has not explicitly spoken against Nasheed's proposals, and that the president would do no such thing. While Nasheed played the main role in electing President Solih, he continues to remain the president's biggest supporter, said Nasheed.

'President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is not an obstruction [to establishing a parliamentary system]. I continue to remain his most loyal and sincere partner," said Nasheed.