Parliament Speaker and former President Mohamed Nasheed, who left the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)  in June to join a new party called The Democrats, has offered to return if he secures the support of at least 50% of the national council. The proposal was shared by MDP Chairman Fayyaz Ismail in a WhatsApp group for council members.

Many in the party’s national council have voiced their opposition to Nasheed’s return, as well as to his push for changing the system of governance. Out of those who expressed their opinions, only three council members spoke in favour of Nasheed’s return.

Hassan Zareer, a member of the MDP’s highest decision-making body, stated his unequivocal support for current President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and voiced a resounding “No, no,” to the idea of a parliamentary system. Kinbidhoo MP Mohamed Nashiz accused Nasheed of pushing for a parliamentary system “for selfish reasons; to come to power.”

Ibrahim Waheed, Deputy Chairman of the MDP, blames Nasheed’s departure for the MDP’s failure in the recent presidential election. Waheed indicated he would work alone rather than collaborate with someone who undermined the government. Nasheed’s The Democrats had initially been eyed by the MDP for a potential coalition, but the party ultimately did not support either candidate in the run-off election, which was won by Dr Mohamed Muizzu.

MDP Chairman Fayyaz Ismail has also made it clear that the party does not support the overthrow of the existing governance system, stating that the recently elected Dr Mohamed Muizzu should be allowed to serve his full five-year term.

The national council is set to hold a pivotal meeting on Tuesday to discuss crucial decisions about the future direction of the party, especially in the wake of its election defeat. The issue of Nasheed’s re-entry and the referendum on the governance system are expected to be high on the agenda.