President-elect Dr Mohamed Muizz celebrates his victory in the presidential election at the Social Center. Dhauru Photo/ Hussain Sunain

People want presidential system, Muizzu says

At a press conference at the President’s Office on Monday, President Solih also expressed his disapproval of a constitutional vote at this juncture.

3 October 2023

By Mohamed Muzayyin Nazim

President-elect Dr Mohamed Muizzu has expressed his opposition to the issue of holding a public referendum as proposed by The Democrats to change the system of government. He said that while the people have decided to have a presidential system in place in the country, they do not want a vote on the matter.

As the constitutional vote debate in parliament continues, Muizzu made the remarks at a celebration held at the Social Centre on Monday to celebrate his victory in the presidential election held on Saturday.

"This is a presidential system. The people decided on a presidential system and more than 240,000 people came out and voted. The people of this country want this way [presidential system]. They don't want to change things every few minutes. So, this way this country will run. Hopefully this country will go forward like this," said Muizzu, who won both rounds of presidential elections for the first time under this presidential system.

Muizzu said he is scheduled to meet with the Speaker of Parliament on Tuesday. He also asked for the cooperation of the parliament during and after the transitional phase of the two governments.

"There are also elected officials in Parliament. They will also want to respect the democratic process. So, even these days, I would liek to believe that Parliament will give me its full cooperation," Muizzu said.

With that, Muizzu said, the country needs peace and he wants it too.

"The people have decided through the democratic process. They will continue through this system. They have elected people to bring people to a government through this system. I will do what the people want,” Muizzu said.

Muizzu also reiterated one of his previous statements on Monday evening that justice would be served for the May 2021 bombing assassination attempt on Nasheed under his governmnt.

After the first round of the presidential election, the resolution moved by The Democrats contestant of the election, Ilyas Labeeb, called for a constitutional vote before the 30th of this month. The resolution was passed by the parliament on 25th last month. The quorum of the session was not reached due to the absence of members.

Nasheed's Democrats have also proposed an amendment to the constitution related to the systemic vote. It is an amendment that will allow parliament to change the system without taking any more public votes after taking the first public referendum on constitutional change.

At a press conference at the President’s Office on Monday, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also expressed his disapproval of a constitutional vote at this juncture. He also said that the amendment to the Constitution proposed by The Democrats’ Imthiyaz Fahumy would be ratified after it is passed by a three-fourth vote of the parliament and goes to public referendum.

"A president has been elected for [the next] five years. I don't think it is the best way to make a constitutional change that restricts that space," he said in a press conference on Monday in response to a query from Atoll Times on Imthiyaz’s proposed amendment.