DRP proposes bringing council elections forward

Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Mohamed Mujthaz proposed an amendment to the Decentralisation Act yesterday to set December 31, 2010 as the deadline for local council elections.

On Sunday, the Elections Commission (EC) announced that local council elections will take place on February 5, 2010 after taking the upcoming school holidays as well as the Hajj Eid festivities into consideration.

The deadline in the Decentralisation Act had elapsed on October 13 while the complementary Local Council Elections Act, ratified on July 29, gave a 122 period for the elections.

Presenting the bill, Mujthaz said that as administrative constituencies were listed by the government after the amendment was proposed, he was willing to withdraw it at a latter stage.

The amendment bill also proposes considering administrative constituencies as listed in the appendix of the Decentralisation Act.

Meanwhile, an amendment to the Act proposed by the government to set the criteria for city status for populations with 10,000 was narrowly rejected at yesterday’s sitting.

While 34 MPs voted in favour of the proposal, 35 voted against and one abstained.