Aslam: MDP mustn’t misuse majority and rush system change

North HIthadhoo MP and majority leader Mohamed Aslam speaking at a Parliamentary sitting. (Photo/Majlis)

Parliament majority leader and North Hithadhoo MP, Mohamed Aslam said today that rushing to change the governing system just because they have the majority in the Parliament, is not a good thing to do.

Parliament had approved a referendum before the 30th of this month to change the system of government into a parliamentary system. The floor was opened for debate during the Parliament sitting today, about some clarifications requested by the Election Commission.

Speaking during the debate, Aslam, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's running mate in the last presidential election, said there should be no referendum before the Constitution is amended.

“The governing system can be changed after the constitution is amended. For a constitutional amendment, it is not necessary to go to a referendum vote before it. However, the People's Special Majlis went to a referendum when amending the Constitution, so it may be seen as a precedent for the system of government,” Aslam said.

He said that as per Article 262 (b) of the Constitution, after the Constitution is amended, the consent of the people must be obtained if the provisions of that article are changed. The approval must be obtained by the President after the changes are passed by the Parliament, and sent to him for approval.

“Because I believe it is not something good for the country, I will say that just because we have the majority in Parliament, we shouldn’t take unfair advantage of it to change things such as the governing system, in a hurry,” he said.

Aslam said the views of the parties are also important when changing the governing system. Therefore, he asked to seek the advice of all concerned by submitting it to a standing committee when making such a major change.

MDP has scheduled a session of the National Assembly at 8:30 pm to take an official decision on the systemic vote.

It was passed to hold the referendum before October 30, in line with what the Democrats asked for, with the support of the MDP members who were in attendance.

However, MDP’s leader President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that 99 percent of MDP members are against the referendum and the parliament system. MP’s that support Nasheed has spoken up today and asked to postpone the referendum.