Male, May 12 (AVAS): Self-exiled former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed on Friday announced plans to install a “unity government” after winning the Presidential elections in September; switch from a Presidential to a Parliamentary system and extend the term of the new government to six years.
Nasheed lives in self imposed exile most recently in Sri Lanka after he was allowed to leave prison on medical leave in an internationally brokered deal. He had been jailed for 13 years on terrorism charges.
Speaking through video at a rally held in the southernmost Atoll Addu to launch his primary campaign, Nasheed said the people voted for a Presidential system in 2007 to ensure separation of powers and greater accountability.
Nasheed said that the results of the past seven elections in the Maldives showed the dire need for major constitutional amendments. He added that the new unity government would function as a transitional government with an extended term.
“In the first one and a half years of the six year government, we would work to give transitional justice for the many languishing unjustly in prison. Next we will work to reform the judiciary, strengthen the security forces and ensure freedom for independent institutions,” Nasheed explained.
Nasheed reiterated that history shows that a Presidential governance system does not work in the Maldives.
The main opposition leaders including former Presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Nasheed along with Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim and religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla inked a pact to form what they called a ‘reform alliance’.
With the candidacy of the four leaders – all convicted and serving sentences on charges which are controversial, the united opposition had announced plans to nominate a single candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.
Nasheed’s 13 year prison sentence definitely rules him out of the elections in September. But the ex-President has announced his intention to contest the MDP primary on May 30.
(The featured image at the top shows former Maldivian President and Maldivian Democratic Party leader Mohamed Nasheed)