President Mohamed Nasheed has declared Addu a city – for the second time – after the Civil Court ruled yesterday in favour of the Dhivehi Quamee Party (DQP) that the President had no authority to do so.
The Civil Court of the Maldives ruled that the President did not have the authority to declare islands as a city before the Local Government Authority had established a criteria to determine cities, as the law stated that “all cities should meet the criteria established by the Local Government Authority.”
The President’s Office said this afternoon that the Local Government Authority had now established the criteria and published it in the government’s gazette, and stated that a city council had been formed for Addu in accordance with Decree number 2010/15, and Annex 2 of the Decentralisation Act.
The President also sent a letter to the Elections Commission, informing them of his decision to declare Addu a city. In the letter, he requested the Elections Commission to hold elections for the Addu city council as scheduled and in accordance with law.
The Local Government Authority’s criteria for establishing a city include that it have a minimum population of 25,000 people, and have a GDP of no less than RF 1 billion.
Statistics from the Department of National Planning show the GDP of Addu in 2010 as more than Rf 2 billion, while the population is almost 30,000.