Coalition parties support a referendum on gov't system: Nasheed

Parliament Speaker and President of the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Mohamed Nasheed, has said the parties in the ruling coalition wish to determine the Maldives' government system through a referendum before MDP holds its presidential primary.

Speaking on the 'Ask Speaker' program, a public Q&A with the parliament speaker, Nasheed said the coalition parties agree that a referendum must be taken to determine the country's government system. He noted that the religiously conservative Adhaalath Party, which is part of the ruling coalition, also proposed that a referendum be conducted on the matter and that laws should be amended accordingly during the final year of this government's current term. The Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) has also said it supports changing the government system as proposed by the Adhaalath Party and the MDP, said Nasheed.

"In my opinion, we should not talk about MDP's presidential primary without taking this vote. This is the biggest pledge we have made to the people," Nasheed said.

Nasheed said that the plans were also included in the manifesto.

During MDP's Congress, Nasheed submitted a resolution seeking to change the Maldives' government system from a presidential system to a parliamentary system. However, Nasheed withdrew the resolution after some MDP congress participants and top MDP leadership officials refused to support the resolution.