Nasheed leads discussions on Parliamentary System

Special discussions have commenced within the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to bring about the transition from a presidential system to a parliamentary system of governance. The discussions have been launched amid the party's President and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed stating that the transitional phase of the parliamentary system would begin in February next year.

The first meeting on the matter was held Monday. The meeting was attended by President Nasheed, who said the discussions would continue on Tuesday. He said he would be present for the discussions and said general members of the party were invited to join in.

Nasheed has been advocating changing the country's government system to a parliamentary system for several years. He has submitted a resolution seeking the change to the MDP's Congress and hopes to bring amendments to the Constitution to achieve his vision.

The parliamentary system proposed by President Nasheed will have both a president and a prime minister. According to the resolution, the Prime Minister is the head of government while President is the head of state.

According to the resolution, the Prime Minister will be appointed by the party that wins more than half of the seats of the parliament. If no party wins a majority, the government can be formed with the parties that win seats in parliament. The President shall be elected by popular vote.

The resolution stated that the Prime Minister is empowered to form the Cabinet, but the Prime Minister must seek the advice of the President in appointing the Defense Minister and the Foreign Minister. The powers of the President include the appointment and dismissal of ambassadors, the appointment and dismissal of members of independent institutions, and declaring public holidays.