President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that bringing national development, peace and stability to the country and its people through decentralization is the most significant pledge made by his administration.
The President made this remark while speaking at the opening ceremony of the first edition of “Viavathi Raajje” Councillor conference held on 15th December at Crossroads Maldives.
Vice President Faisal Naseem, Former President and Speaker of the Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed, government officials and council members were in attendance at the two-day conference.
President Solih emphasized that apt and effective decentralization has just been initiated in the Maldives with the Ratification of the 8th Amendment to the Decentralization Act, which took place as part of the event.
Shedding light on the amendments brought to the Decentralization Act, the President stated that one of the key changes brought to the Act is the financial empowerment of councils where a separate percentage of the state budget and a separate percentage from the income generated by the island, atoll and city councils are allocated specifically for the use of those councils.
The President stated that in order to ensure meaningful representation of women in the decision-making process, the new amendments brought to the Decentralization Act mandates one-third of each council to be female councillors. He also stated that the amendment also comprises the election of a Women Development Committee with 5 members to be elected from each island.
Furthermore, the President also urged the Councillors to carry out their work according to the decentralization Act in a fair and just manner without discrimination of any individual person. Moreover, the President advised Councillors to utilise their new financial empowerment to benefit all their constituents to the best of their abilities.
Speaking further, President Solih stated that it is not in his nature to gather state powers in order to increase stature and to bring more prestige to the position he holds.
Moreover, the President shed light on the topics to be discussed during the conference and expressed his hope for a fruitful outcome from the event.