The president has appealed to opposition parties not to jeopardise the country’s nascent democratic system and put aside partisan politics, in his second presidential address on the opening of parliament.
He warned of the “consequences” should the government be forced to take to safeguard the country’s democratic system against “unlawful actions based on unrealistic hopes”, stating they would be borne “not only by this system of governance, but also by the opposition and we ourselves.”
“I don’t believe that any of us would want for that to happen. The sensible way would be to avoid falling into such personal rivalry and to build essential national foundations,” he said, calling on “the cooperation and support of the honourable Members of the People’s Majlis to transcend political turmoil and differences of thought and ideology.”
The president also spoke about addressing problems with the judicial system, promising that “this government will work tirelessly to solve the problems of delayed justice when people who are arrested and investigated are not prosecuted.”
He noted that the number of people who were sentenced and had their sentences enforced increased by 69.7 per cent last year compared to 2008, while the percentage of people involved in cases sent for prosecution increased by 88.2 per cent.
He also said the government would “redouble efforts to save generations of youth from strong addiction to
different kinds of hard drugs and free countless Maldivian families from this plague that has caused them so much grief and sorrow.”
He noted that the government had established branches of the prosecutor general’s office in the atolls.
The president asked that “beloved citizens who might harbour what might be considered extremist ideas and opinions to be moderate and soften their ways of thinking.”
“I call on all citizens to prioritise friendship and understanding for the harmony and progress of society,” he said.
The president appealed to MPs for “consideration and support” when he resubmitted amended legislation on decentralisation.
“This nation is in great need of the cooperation of this esteemed Majlis,” he said. “The Government desires to advance the principle of resolving matters through dialogue and deliberation with all political parties. At the moment, we must embark on many endeavours for this nation.
He said the government would also decentralise the country’s sports centres in the country and seek to organise a sea sport festival before 2012.
“In the coming two to four months, several projects are due to be started. I believe that if a framework to resolve issues through dialogue among the different political parties could be constituted, it would provide many benefits for the people.”
Nasheed appealed to the MPs to “talk to the Government so that the bills submitted by the government are speedily passed, even if it should be with amendments.”
Nasheed described the country’s outlook as “very clear, very joyous, as the Maldives passes the stages of consolidating democracy.
“With the grace of God, the government’s continued efforts to provide even more fulfilment and prosperity for the people will result in easing and enriching their lives further this year,” he said.