Cannot face 2023 election with MDP if parliamentary vote is not allowed: Nasheed

The main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s President and former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed Saturday said that he will not be able to contest the 2023 presidential election on an MDP ticket unless the people are given the opportunity to vote on changing the Maldives' system of governance.

Nasheed made the statement at MDP's ongoing Congress. At the Congress' morning session, he reiterated that the government should be changed from a presidential system to a parliamentary system.

Nasheed said the only way to maintain support for the MDP and move forward together is to allow a vote on changing the government system, he said. If the MDP faces the election as one, the party will get over 112,000 votes but will lose more than 40,000 votes if members do not stick together, he added.

β€œAt our current status, I don't think we will win 2023,” Nasheed said, referring to the upcoming 2023 Presidential Election and stressing the need to change the governance system.

Nasheed made it very clear that he would not be with the MDP in the presidential election if the party did not pave the way for a vote on changing the governance system. He said he knew the National Congress's decision on the resolution he submitted regarding seeking constitutional amendments to bring about the governance system change. However, he does not wish for things to be ruined, Nasheed said.

"I repeat, I cannot contest the 2023 presidential election with you unless I am with the entire party,” Nasheed said.

Nasheed said that in 2007, a presidential system was imposed on the people by force. He claimed that the results of the referendum held that year were changed by the then Elections Commission.