'Can no longer be politically aligned with Pres Solih': Nasheed

Speaker of the Parliament and former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has stated that he can no longer be politically aligned with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

In a series of messages sent to a Whatsapp group of main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s National Council, Nasheed said he no longer wishes to stand with the country's leaders "even if it meant he could never become the country's leader again". He wishes for a coalition with those with a moderate religious view, and he would partner up with the opposing Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) if needed, said Nasheed. Noting that extremist views existed even within MDP, Nasheed said he would discuss such views with former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom and PPM. Nasheed said his views may upset some members of MDP but that he cannot do anything about it.

Nasheed further said he had no personal conflicts with President Solih, and that the pair would remain side by side when it came to personal matters. He also said President Solih would remain 'Ibu Dhombe', loosely translated as Ibu Uncle, to his children. He requested MDP members not to hold personal grudges against President Solih and to refrain from doing anything that may cause harm to the president.

Nasheed has previously said he would seek PPM's assistance to change the country's government system from a presidential system to a parliamentary system. Speaking on the 'Ask Speaker' program held earlier this month Nasheed said he would run in the 2023 presidential election on an MDP ticket after winning the party's primary. 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, Nasheed had said. He added that attempts to change the governmentment 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 had said.