Fayyaz: Parliamentary system not suited for a small country such as the Maldives

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Saeed)

Economic Minister, Chairperson of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Fayyaz Ismail, on Monday, has stated that changing the governance system of a small national such as the Maldives to a parliamentary system is not suitable.

Speaking to Sun tonight, Fayyaz said that he has always favored presidential system.

“The governance of Maldives is moving forward under the presidential system as well. This is not dictatorship. Can do what is desired. Not tyranny. There is the opportunity to do what is desired within limits. That is why, (I) cannot believe in a parliamentary system,” he had said.

Fayyaz said that issues such as corruption can be decreased in a presidential system compared to that of a parliamentary system.

Underscoring that changing the government can be extremely easy through influence of money in a parliamentary system – Fayyaz stressed that change of governance too quickly in a small nation such as the Maldives is not right.

His remarks today – comes at a time Parliament Speaker, MDP’s Leader Nasheed has submitted a resolution to MDP’s congress scheduled for 19th of this month on holding a constitutional referendum to switch the governing system from a presidential system to a parliamentary system.

At a press conference held this morning, Nasheed had explained the timeline for his vision of changing the system of government in Maldives from a presidential to parliamentary system.

Nasheed said he wished to make necessary amendments to the Constitution and take a referendum on parliamentary system this year, and to have a transitional parliamentary system in place starting February next year.

Nasheed said that everyone’s assistance is required in the efforts to switch from a presidential system to a parliamentary system. He particularly stressed the importance of Fayyaz’s support and cooperation – adding he would hold necessary discussions with Fayyaz regarding the matter.

Nasheed and Fayyaz have always been on opposing sides. Nevertheless, Nasheed has recently expressed regret over the matter – stating that his actions were warranted by South Henveiru MP Hussain Shaheem (Andhun Hussain).

Some MDP members allege that Nasheed had expressed support for Fayyaz all of a sudden in order to win over Fayyaz and his supports to bring the parliamentary system.

The last time a constitutional referendum was held in the Maldives was back in 2007 – during former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom’s administration. Back then, 92 percent of the voters favored a presidential system.