Amendment to Decentralisation Act allowing joint development projects among atolls defeated in Majlis vote

An amendment to the Decentralisation Act was rejected by a 5 vote majority in the yesterday’s sitting of the Majlis – 37 MPs against, 32 MPs in favor.

The current Decentralisation Act states that only the Majlis can authorise inter-atoll projects or combine two or more administrative units (an atoll or part of an atoll designated as an administrative unit) for economic, social or administrative purposes.

The amendment aimed to provide more leverage to the administration to implement joint economic and social projects between two or more atolls, or administratively divided parts of an atoll, reported Miadhu Daily.

DRP MPs spoke strongly against the amendment, and criticised the current administration.

President Nasheed (a member of the MDP) signed the Decentralisation Act into law on 17 May 2010.

MDP MPs criticised the DRP and other opposition parties for voting against government proposals which would benefit the Maldivian people, reported Miadhu Daily. MDP MPs said that the DRP’s words do not match their actions which they described as a sign of an irresponsible opposition, and MDP MPs said that DRP’s main strategy at the moment was gaining support through creating fear against the MDP administration and destroying the trust between the administration and the people, reported Miadhu Daily.

MDP MPs also said the opposition parties were conducting a major smear campaign in its efforts to oust the executive government before the end of its 5 year term, reported Miadhu Daily, and MDP MPs also cited examples from EU and ASEAN showing that joining two or more administrative units for economic purposes would bear fruit because unity is the key to development.

The amendment had been presented to the Majlis by the MP for Henveiru-South, Hamid Abdul Ghafoor.