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.