Government on Wednesday claimed it is willing to amend the constitution to allow self-exiled former president, Mohamed Nasheed, to contest next year’s presidential race.
During a press briefing at the President’s Office, fisheries minister Dr. Mohamed Sahinee, who has been representing the government at the all-party talks, said reasons given by the opposition for their refusal to take part in the talks include detention of political leaders and former president Nasheed being unable to contest the presidential election.
He said if all parties agree that Nasheed should be allowed to contest and include it in an amendment proposed to the constitution through all-party talks, and if it is approved by the parliament, President Abdulla Yameen and the government will implement it.
Shainee said pro-government politicians are against allowing Nasheed to contest the presidential election, but government will fulfil agreements reached through all-party talks. He said opposition parties exited the talks initiated in 2015 upon realizing what they wanted would not be achieved through what was agreed, and not due to lack of sincerity from the government.
In that regard he said the appointment of Ahmed Adeeb as vice president and allowing foreign land ownership were made possible through amendments proposed to the constitution during the all-party talks at that time. He also said while rumours had spread that Nasheed would be released from prison on July 26, the former president was transferred to house arrested in July that year.
While government has indicated its interest towards amending the constitution once again, opposition has accused the government of bringing the parliament to a standstill after losing parliament majority and "dismissing" several MPs.