Addu Atoll to become ‘city island’

Addu Atoll is to be considered a single administrative island to be developed as a city, following the outcome of the public referendum on Saturday, President Mohamed Nasheed announced yesterday.

Speaking to press at the President’s Office, Nasheed said that after official discussions with the main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), the parties agreed to jointly propose amendments to the Decentralisation Act, based on the results of the referendum, and list administrative constituencies by October 17.

“When the islands are announced, there will be a major change to the largest atoll in the south, Addu Atoll” he said. “In my view, the results of the referendum showed very clearly that citizens of the atoll want to develop as a city. So we will designate Addu Atoll as one city island. Addu Atoll is an island with the districts Hithadhoo, Maradhoo-Feydhoo, Maradhoo, Hulhudhoo and Meedhoo.”

Instead of an atoll office, he continued, the southernmost atoll will have a municipality run by an elected municipal council.

With over 30,000 inhabitants, Addu Atoll is the second largest population centre in the country. However, as much as 60 percent of some islands currently reside in the capital Male’.

President Nasheed denied that the results and the low turnout was a failure of the government, as small islands rejected the government proposal for administrative consolidation with larger islands.

“In a democracy, if an election is seen as useless, there’s nothing I have to say about that,” he said.

Moreover, Nasheed argued that establishing a nationwide transport network was the government’s policy on population consolidation, as outlined in the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) manifesto, as opposed to “taking a population and settling them in another island.”

While the referendum revealed that small islands did not want to “lose their identity”, Nasheed said that a secret ballot was needed to determine the views of the electorate as he routinely received petitions from islanders requesting relocation.

According to official results, of 26,676 people who participated in the referendum, 8,402 voted in favour of the proposal while 16,695 voted against it.

However, of the six islands in Addu Atoll where voting took place, citizens of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Maradhoo-Feydhoo and Hulhudhoo endorsed the proposal, while islanders of Feydhoo and Meedhoo rejected it.


10 thoughts on “Addu Atoll to become ‘city island’”

  1. This referendum has shown that people of addu are always progressive.

    It also tells me that people are moving and passing forward far beyond their shores and beaches.

    What people of addu has endorsed is a great thing for their future and this must not be taken for granted

  2. Dear Editor,

    Could you kindly replace this picture with a photo of Addu Atoll or remove it altogether.

    This picture shows an uninhabited island and is therefore misleading.

    Atoll in Maldives means a group of islands except for Fuamulah which is one big island.

    Thank you.

  3. The biggest problem is with these islanders is, they have been living in those small islands for generations and they have evolved being myopic. Unless this refractive defect is not corrected these islanders will remain as gullible people. Their expectations are as low as primate. Now What Anni can do to uplift these peoples life. No one can do anything; the people are as hopeless as their vulnerable small islands. Let the evolution take its course, fittest will survive.

  4. Dear Darwinist

    it seems you are the gullible and ape minded. We Maldivians have been more intelligent than what you think. we have overthrown a dictator ship without a single drop of blood. we are not short sighted nor is we farsighted.. our islands are surrounded by the great Indian ocean and we have been wandering around the continents of the world for centuries. Even the great roman empires received our diplomats to their political chambers.
    So mr. primate..please shoot your ignorance at yourself.

  5. What,if any benefits will being a "city"bring to Addu??--What is the Maldivian interpretation of "a city"??..

  6. what i do not know is that what difference it will make? I am optimistic my city will develop and progress. this may be the "BIG PICTURE". if we could develop Addu City in a fast speed (within three years) slowly people will start to change their thinking. People will undstand importance of decentralaization. this is the time for HE Anni to show what he meant was best to the People of this Country.

  7. ok i have some questions.. anyone who can answer them or direct me to a link, please do!

    allright, so when addu becomes 'addu city' it becomes the capital of seenu atoll?

    and hithadhoo, meedhoo, maradhoo, maradhoo-feydhoo and hulhudhoo become the wards/districts?

    and if so, what happens to feydhoo and hulhumeedhoo??



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