MDP will empower local councils: Nasheed

Former president Mohamed Nasheed has said the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) will not allow the Maldives to become a “unitary state” and will empower local councils.

Speaking at an MDP rally held last night at Alimas Carnival area in Male’, Nasheed said that if MDP wins majority of the seats in the parliament, the party will arrange an uninhabited island for every council and provide councils with the means of making an income.

He said MDP will work within the parliament to ensure councils are given the authority to utilize land, and with that councils will fulfill the pledge of providing citizens with housing.

He noted the importance of allowing the councils to have the funds they earn in their own accounts.

Nasheed said the MDP accepted the presidential election result knowing that it was achieved through a court, and will work twice as hard to win the upcoming local council and parliament elections.

He announced his plans to visit every inhabited island of Maldives before 22 March.

“Maldives is clearly proving that a coalition government have no place under the constitution, President Yameen cannot rule except with the twenty six percent he won.” Nasheed said, reiterating his criticism of coalition governments.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom won 25.35 percent of the vote in the first round of presidential elections held on September 7. The Supreme Court subsequently annulled the election and ordered a revote. Yameen’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) won in the second round with 51.39 percent of the vote after third-placed candidate Gasim Ibrahim backed the PPM.

People’s Majlis Speaker Abdulla Shahid also echoed Nasheed’s concerns over the state of local governance in the Maldives.

Describing decentralization as the biggest changed brought about by the 2008 constitution, Shahid accused then opposition parties of confusing the meaning of the decentralization act.

MDP candidates for local councils were announced at last night’s rally. The local council elections will be held on January 18 and Parliamentary elections are scheduled for March 22.


2 thoughts on “MDP will empower local councils: Nasheed”

  1. The Constitution says the Maldives is a unitary state. Perhaps this article mistranslates Nasheed's remarks because I fail to see how he would make an announcement that he would openly defy the Constitution.

    The people no longer have any interest or trust in the current form of the local governance system. This is shown by;

    (1) The dismally low numbers who re-registered to vote in places outside their permanent place of residence (only 2000).

    (2) The depressingly uninspiring characters fielded as candidates by political parties (save a few).

    (3) The lack of public discussion/debate or media coverage of pre-election issues/candidates.

    A lot of people are of the opinion that island communities in certain areas have no one better to offer. In truth their best and brightest would rather not become embroiled in this farce - they prefer to support and place mindless puppets who would serve party and personal ends while remaining clueless as to the actual governance of municipal affairs.

    Nasheed/Yameen/Qasim can say what they want. The people never wanted councils. It was a Frankenstein's monster created by the then Parliament. It was partly the result of an attempt by the then regime to transform the historical administrative setup of the country into provinces overnight and the backlash from a bitter opposition who wished to destabilize the country and make it ungovernable.

    Now that MDP is the opposition the rhetoric is very much similar to the then DRP majority in Parliament. Look at Nasheed's comments above and it appears to say that MDP majorities in councils would try to wrest power from the central government by confrontational means, try to achieve financial independence and pursue broad policy goals in conflict with the central government's plans.

    However I feel that the current system (no matter how much parties want to keep it in place to fund their activists through paid posts in 5-11 member councils) will not survive given the people's lack of trust and respect for it and the lack of funds in the public treasury to keep it in place. So let us all abstain from the upcoming vote and show political parties that enough is enough. We need a local governance system that works. Not one that either destabilizes the country or blindly serves the ruling party's needs.

  2. who Nasheed to empower people ?

    This guy will have a big mouth to shout and are good activist to steer up the crow with first class violence.

    And good for nothing else.


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