Nasheed says main-ruling MDP at critical juncture

Parliament Speaker and President of the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Mohamed Nasheed has said the party is currently at a critical juncture and that no progress or success can be achieved by challenging the party's supporters.

Speaking at the opening of the MDP's Fourth Congress on Friday night, Nasheed said the MDP has always been a party of change and that it is human nature to seek change. Describing the MDP as a youthful party, he said the zeal of youth is also a call for change.

Nasheed said that the MDP always works to get what is better than what is available. In this regard, the country's presidential government system must be replaced by a parliamentary system, he said. Nasheed said MDP was at a critical point due to the difference of opinion within the party on changing the government system.

"It is very clear to all of us that this party is at a very sensitive point. Some in the party think there is no need to change the system of governance and that we should continue to govern as we are doing. Others in the party think it needs to change and that changes in the style of governance are necessary," said Nasheed

Nasheed repeated that obstruction and prevention are a barrier to development and that the people's belief that the governance system should be changed would remain. The people's question of changing the system would continue to remain the same, he said. The debate on the matter will take place at the congress that had just kicked off, and there is no success except down that path, he said.

"There is no victory we can achieve by challenging the belief of many party supporters. I am sure we cannot achieve victory [without deciding on a path] where all the members of this party remain together," he said.

Nasheed recalled the 2017 referendum on government system change and said the presidential system was imposed on the people by force. The results of the vote held that year were changed by the then commission, he said.