Pres Solih asks to withdraw parliamentary resolution

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said he does not support changing the government system to a parliamentary system and requested President of the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s President Mohamed Nasheed to withdraw the resolution seeking the change.

MDP's President and Parliament and the MDP President Nasheed has submitted a resolution to the party's upcoming Congress, hoping to bring about constitutional amendments to bring about the change in the government system.

In an interview given to local media Raajje TV, President Solih rejected Nasheed's ambition and said he does not support a parliamentary system and that he does not believe there is a problem with the current government system. He said he was confident that Nasheed's resolution would not be passed at the MDP Congress. If in the case the resolution is passed, the matter would be debated in the Parliament before the relevant work to amend the Constitution is undertaken, he said.

The President said it was more important to solve the problems faced by the country than to change the system of government. Hinting that Nasheed undertook efforts to change the government system without consulting with relevant persons, President Solih said the resolution is still "in its infancy". Those who wish to change the system of government can approach the people and explain the system and work towards bringing about the system change at a later time, he said. The advantages and disadvantages of both the presidential and parliamentary systems should also be explained to the people, he said.

"I personally believe that a government with a president elected by direct vote of the people should have the power to run the government as it is now. Secondly, a parliament consisting of elected representatives should have the power to make laws. Having an independent judiciary. A state with such a separation of powers is the system I believe in,” he said.

After publicizing the resolution on the parliamentary system, Nasheed on Monday met with reporters yesterday to share information on the resolution. According to Nasheed's resolution, the prime minister will be appointed by a party that wins more than half of Parliament seats. 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 of the people.

According to the resolution, 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.

Powers of the President according to the resolution:

Appointment of persons to independent commissions and positions
Power to dissolve Parliament
The supreme commander of the army
Establishment of inquiry commissions
Declaration of war or peace
Declaration of a state of emergency
Granting clemency to criminals
Seeking people's vote on national issues
Appointment of ambassadors and acceptance of credentials
Determination of national holidays and public holidays
Granting prizes, honors, titles and medals

Nasheed's resolution also proposes to limit the number of members of Parliament to 87, change the composition of the Judicial Service Commission, determining the number of judges in the Supreme Court and basic features of decentralization of administrative areas.