Ex-pres Yameen declines Nasheed's request for a meeting

Former President Abdulla Yameen, who is currently incarcerated, has declined a request from former President and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed for a meeting.

In his capacity as the Speaker, Nasheed sought a meeting with Yameen to discuss the potential transition of the Maldives' government system from presidential to parliamentary.

Maldives Correctional Service on Sunday said it had informed the parliament secretariat of Yameen's refusal to meet the Speaker as per the request.

Nasheed, addressing members of his party, The Democrats, revealed that the party had presented agreements related to conducting a referendum on the government system on September 25 as a condition for forming alliances for the second round of the presidential election to both the parties contesting the second round. While the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) rejected the agreement, the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has not yet responded. Nasheed stated that even if MDP does not respond, The Democrats will need to make a decision within the next two days.

Nasheed said he wished to meet with Yameen as he valued the former president's consultation and advice on changing the government system.

"It is essential to consult with President Yameen when making a change in the system of government. I want to ask President Yameen what he thinks about conducting the referendum before the 25th and how he can assist us," Nasheed said.

The Election Commission (EC) said yesterday that a referendum would require approximately 30 days of preparation and a budget of at least MVR 40 million. Currently, The Democrats are the only political party openly supporting the change in the government system.