Decentralization Committee Chair threatens to remove Decentralization Act amendment

Chairperson of the Parliament's Committee on Decentralisation Ali Niyaz | Photo: Addulive

Malé, Maldives – The Chairperson of Parliament Decentralization Committee and MP for Hulhumalé constituency, Ali Niyaz has threatened to remove the amendments to the Decentralization Act if attempts are not made to implement and show a working decentralized system by example.

The Decentralization Committee chair said that 75% of Madivians want decentralization and if services are centralized to Malé with no efforts being made to decentralize, he will propose to remove the amendments brought to the Decentralization Act (Act no. 07/2010) which give authority to the local councils. If removed, things would go back to the centralized system of government.

The 8th amendment of the Decentralization Act provides local councils with fiscal and legal autonomy and allocates a third of council seats for female councillors.

MP Niyaz said this while debating the bill to dissolve the Transport Authority of Maldives. He said that Ministries should be making and monitoring regulations as opposed to actively implementing the process face to face with the people.

Instead, the system should be changed to authorize the local councils to give services directly to the public. MP Niyaz stressed that the government should not be fearful of giving authority to the councils and instead show by example a working, perfect decentralized system.

MP Niyaz said that the population is over capacity in the greater Malé area causing issues in the sewerage systems, vehicle registration and roads.

The decentralization committee chair has said this days ahead of the Local Council Elections to be held on 10 April 2021.

Opposition has expressed fear that if opposition wins majority in councils, the authority of the councils may be removed, while ruling party MDP maintains that they are the only party who believes in decentralization.