No govt post but Nasheed refuses to rule out bid for parliament seat

Former president Mohamed Nasheed on Thursday ruled out a post in the opposition coalition government but stopped short of ruling out a bid for a parliament seat next year.

Speaking to local reporters after returning to the Maldives from exile on Thursday, insisted that he would not take up a post in the government of his childhood friend and president elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

"But I will be ready to offer my advice if Solih's needs it," Nasheed said.

When pressed on his political future, Nasheed refused to rule out a bid for a parliament seat saying that he had not decided on his immediate future.

During the extensive press conference in the capital Male, Nasheed had also reiterated his support to change the country's presidential system to a parliamentary system.

"I've always believed that the best governance system for a country is a parliamentary system. But I assure you and the Maldivian people that I would do or say anything without consulting president Solih," Nasheed stressed.

Nasheed also rebuffed accusations that Solih would struggle to emerge from the former president's shadow.

"I've worked with Solih for a long time. He was never a shadow. He was always a base," he added.

"I'm not someone who would speak behind somebody's back. I will not allow for division."

Solih backed by Nasheed along with former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim and religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla had pulled off a shocking election victory over incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Amid concerns that the coalition government would not last, Nasheed insisted that he would do everything in his power to sustain Solih's government.

Nasheed had lived in self imposed exile most recently in Sri Lanka after he was allowed to leave to the UK on medical leave in an internationally brokered deal in 2015 following his jailing on terrorism charges.

He was sentenced to 13 years in prison over the arbitrary arrest and subsequent detention of a sitting judge while he was president.