The Attorney General’s office has appealed at the High Court to overturn a Civil Court ruling that the criteria established by the Local Government Authority to determine cities are invalid.
The High Court of the Maldives said that the case was now in the High Court but it had not yet scheduled the hearing.
The Civil Court delivered the verdict day before yesterday after the case was filed in the court by Hassan Nasir of Hulhudhoo, a citizen of Addu Atoll.
In response to the allegations in the trials conducted in Civil Court the state argued that the Decentralisation Act does not say that the presence of all the members of the Local Government Authority are required when making a decision.
However, the judges ruled that the Local Government Authority was a national institution, and therefore its work was to be conducted similar to how other institutions were conducted.
The first time President Mohamed Nasheed declared Addu Atoll a city, the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) filed the case in Civil Court, citing a law that a Local Government Authority shall be established to make a city, and the Local Government Authority shall also establish a criteria to determine cities and determine whether the subject atoll metthe requirements.
The Court then ruled in favor of DQP and ruled that president did not have the authority to declare Addu Atoll a city without completing the procedure mentioned in the Decentralisation Act.
The day after, President Nasheed established a Local Government Authority consisting solely of Home Minister Hassan Afeef. Afeef established the criteria and determined that Addu Atoll mets the requirements to become a city. The president then declared Addu a city for the second time in January this year.
With four days before Addu was to hold its City Council elections for the first time, the Civil Court ruled that the Local Government Authority’s criteria was invalid and the Elections Commission was forced to cancel the City Council elections.