The Local Government Authority has voted to remove Chairperson Colonel (retired) Mohamed Nazim and Vice President Moosa Naseer.
Five of the nine board members supported a no-confidence motion against Nazim, who is also minister of defence and acting health minister.
The five board members took the vote after having refused to leave today’s board meeting following Nazim’s failure to table a no-confidence motion against himself.
“We can conduct the meeting without the board president being there,” explained member Shujau Hassan. “It is allowed for in our rules of procedure.”
Malé City Councillor and LGA board member Shamau Shareef explained that Nazim had insisted the agenda for yesterday’s cancelled meeting be attended to before any other issues were addressed.
Shamau noted that Nazim had prevented the board taking a no-confidence vote against him in December. He had previously explained to Minivan News that a binding resolution to do so had been signed by four members on December 24.
He stated today that five board members, including himself and Hussain Naseer, Hussain Hilmy, Ibrahim Rasheed, and Shujau Hassan refused to adjourn the meeting, requesting LGA officials write to the attorney general for advice.
Shamau expressed concern that Nazim was not working to protect local government in the country while “the government is dismantling the whole system of decentralisation”.
Both Nazim – appointed to the board by President Abdulla Yameen, and Moosa Naseer will continue to hold positions on the LGA board. Nazim referred any media queries to LGA’s media coordinator Mohamed Azmeen.
Azmeen said that today’s meeting had been halted after disagreements between the chair and members over the agenda. He had confirmed that the board was to decide on how to proceed with the issue after the attorney general’s advice, but was not responding to calls following the board’s subsequent dismissal of Nazim this afternoon.
Formed under the 2010 Decentralisation Act, the LGA is tasked with overseeing and coordinating the work of the Maldives’ 199 city, atoll, and island-level councils.
The LGA board is required under the act with ensuring that “the work and activities of the councils created under this Act is functioning in accordance with the Constitution, this Act, and other Laws”.
The original Decentralisation Act assigns a number of services and lands to the councils, though failure to make amendments to relevant legislation – particularly the Land Act and the Finance Act – has led to contradiction in the current laws.
Concerns over the government’s plans for decentralisation prompted councils from the country’s southernmost atolls to sign a pact to defend the system last month.
The Medheaari Declaration – signed by the Gaaf Dhaalu, Gaaf Alifu, and Fuvahmulah atoll councils, and Addu City Council – called upon the government to protect decentralisation, as well as making plans to secure the fiscal autonomy of the signatories.
This article was updated shortly after its original publication to include the board’s decision to pass the no-confidence motion against Chairperson Nazim.
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