Democrats sets conditions for coalition with second-round candidates

The Democrats has passed a resolution setting conditions for forming a coalition with the two candidates contesting in the second round of the presidential election.

The resolution, which Council Member Mohamed Shifaz moved at the Democrats' council held at Billabong High International School on Monday night, stipulates conditions for both the PPM-PNC candidate, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, and the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

For the PPM-PNC, representing the leading candidate, the conditions entail allocating government positions for the Democrats and implementing certain Democrats' policies under their rule. Should PPM-PNC accept these terms, an agreement must be finalized before September 20.

The condition for the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is agreeing to a referendum on changing the government system from presidential to parliamentary. This referendum must take place before the 28th of this month, before the second round of voting.

The resolution also proposes that the Democrats will not support any candidate if neither candidate agrees to their terms.

The resolution was passed with approval from the majority of 50 members present during the meeting.

In the debate on the resolution, the Parliament's Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla said President Solih had previously committed to conducting a referendum but had not followed through. The condition to conduct a referendum serves as a litmus test for trustworthiness, she said.

In the debate, the Democrats' Parliamentary Group leader and Henveiru Central MP Ali Azim argued that the government's progress is hindered without a transition to a parliamentary system. He said it is most beneficial for the Democrats' future to defeat President Solih in the presidential election and subsequently remove Dr. Muizzu from power.

Vilifushi MP Hassan Afeef said he does not support any candidate contesting the second round of the presidential election. He recommended focusing on preparing for parliamentary elections instead of pursuing the presidential election candidates.

“We should not run after these people and prepare for the next parliamentary elections instead,” Afeef said.