PPM rejects referendum proposal, MDP's response awaited: The Democrats

The Democrats have set the condition to form a coalition for the second round of the presidential election to conducting a referendum to transition from a presidential system to a parliamentary system of government.

In the initial round of the presidential election on September 9, the Democrats' candidate, Ilyas Labeeb, secured the third position among eight candidates. Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, the PPM-PNC candidate, emerged as the frontrunner with 46 percent of the votes, while the incumbent President, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, trailed behind with 39 percent. Since neither candidate obtained the required 50 percent majority for an outright victory, a second round of voting is now confirmed. Having secured seven percent of votes in the initial round, this places the Democrats at a pivotal juncture where their endorsement is likely to have a significant impact on the final outcome of the election.

The Democrats have made it clear that their condition for forming alliances is contingent on holding a referendum to change the government system and proposed to conduct the referendum on September 25. Speaking to reporters on Friday night, the Democrats' Chairperson MP Hassan Latheef said while PPM-PNC has rejected this offer, MDP has not yet decided on the offer, and discussions are underway with the party.

"We offered to sign an agreement with PPM, and they declined. We also proposed to publicize the agreement, but they opted not to proceed," he said.

Hassan Latheef said that following the defeat of President Solih in the first round of the presidential election, this is the most opportune time to conduct a referendum on government system reform, all within the bounds of the legal framework.

"This is the most fitting time for the President to consider this," he said.