Pres Solih voices support for Presidential System

Outgoing President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has expressed his support for maintaining the Maldives' presidential system of government.

During a National Assembly meeting held by the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to gather members' opinions on The Democrats' request for a referendum on changing the government system, President Solih stated that both the presidential and parliamentary systems have advantages and disadvantages. However, he emphasized his preference for the presidential system.

"I support the presidential system. If there is a systematic vote, I will do whatever is necessary to maintain the presidential system in the Maldives," he said.

President Solih's views contrast with those of Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, who has long since strongly advocated for a parliamentary system. The President's reiteration of his stance on the matter comes while NAsheed's party, The Democrats, seek a referendum on changing the government system. Earlier last month, Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb proposed a resolution to hold a referendum on changing the government system, which the Parliament approved to conduct before October 30.

In 2007, a referendum was held to determine the system of governance in the Maldives. A total of 199,841 people were eligible to vote in the referendum, of which 155,890 voted in the referendum. While 95,619 individuals (62.04 percent) voted in favor of a presidential system in the referendum, 58,508 ( 37.96 percent) voted in favor of a parliamentary system. Meanwhile, 1767 votes were deemed invalid. According to the referendum outcome, the Maldives presidential system has been maintained.