'Small parties have ruined the structure of the systems,' says Nasheed

The structure of the government and the political system has been completely destroyed by forming a coalition with parties that do not have the support of the people, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has said.

In a press conference held Monday, Shared said all rulers who ruled the country under the current Constitution did not have the support of the people and had to form coalitions with other smaller parties. Such parties share 60 percent of government positions, which destroys the political and governance system and creates conflict.

"Therefore, the dissatisfaction and the conflict that stems from it must be addressed and resolved. Arrangements must be made such that no one can do anything wrong," Nasheed said.

Nasheed went on to state that the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has always advocated for governance by those elected by the people. However, under the current Constitution, both the MDP and the opposing Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) were forced to govern with parties rejected by the people because the major parties failed to receive around five percent of the votes needed to govern as a single party. The problem can be solved by changing the system of government from presidential to parliamentary, he said, adding that the government can better serve the people when MPs and ministers are the same people.

"Even now, when something happens, people call the members. The member then has to call the minister and plead with him to get things done. When the member and the minister are the same person, service delivery will be strengthened," Nasheed said.

The former president said in a parliamentary system, corruption and money laundering can be prevented if cabinet ministers are also parliament members. Nasheed said people give in to corruption and money when they believe themselves to be weak.

Nasheed said many achievements had been made under the current Constitution. He said the introduction of a sound tax system had seen the state revenue increase significantly and that many social issues have been addressed while service delivery has also strengthened. However, there are still things that need to be done as per the people's needs, and this can be achieved through restructuring the system, he said.

The Speaker highlighted the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and said the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war would further impact the Maldives' economy. He said that having to utilize over 50 percent of the state budget for repaying loans taken by former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom and mitigate the damage caused by climate change, changes must be brought to the structure of the system and seek solutions to economic problems.

"The people of the Maldives are intelligent. The MDP is working for the benefit of the Maldivian people," Nasheed said.