Only 32 MPs from main-ruling MDP support a parliamentary system

Majority of Parliament members representing main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) are against switching to a parliamentary system of governance.

A vote was taken on the official Whatsapp group for MDP's National Council Members to assess members' support for a Parliamentary system. The vote was initiated by Speaker of the Parliament and former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, who has been advocating for a switch in the governance system. Among the 65 parliamentarians representing MDP, 23 members voted in favor of a Parliamentary system.

Nasheed recently relayed to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih that he wishes to become the Prime Minister of the Maldives.

A message sent by President Nasheed to President Ibrahim Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday said he wished to discuss changing the governance system to Parliamentary system. In his message, Nasheed said he no longer wished to remain in the sidelines and that he wished to be part of running the country as Prime Minister. He called on the president to dissolve the government and to cancel the 2023 presidential election, and to change the system to a parliamentary system through the parliament. Nasheed further said he thought it would be best to bring the change in February 2023, and that the parliament should run the country until the next parliamentary election in 2024. The message was also shared with some cabinet ministers.

Spokesperson at the President's Office, Mohamed Mabrook Azeez had confirmed that the President received the message sent by Speaker Nasheed. Mabrook said while the current governance system was chosen by the people in a referendum, the president is of the opinion that a change to the governance system can be brought only through a similar referendum.

The Maldives follows a presidential system of governance. A referendum vote was taken in 2007 to decide if the country's citizen wished to change the governance system to a parliamentary system. At that time, the people voted for the current governance system in place.

Nasheed has always advocated for a parliamentary system of governance. Although several supporters of Nasheed supported his proposal on social media, Nasheed's request to the President was met with stark criticism from a large majority of the people and politicians.