President: City councils will be empowered this week

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Powers which can be released to city councils as part of the President’s prerogative to under the Decentralization Act will be released within this week, says President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Solih made the announcement this Saturday morning during his visit to K. Dhiffushi – his first trip outside the capital since he assumed office on November 17.

Speaking during the visit, Solih said it was his goal to empower local councils and empower local communities, which can only be achieved by amending the Decentralization Act.

Solih said amendments necessary to Decentralization Act will be researched and submitted to the Parliament within the next 1-month period.

“And Insha Allah, the powers which can be released to city councils as part of my prerogative as President under the current Decentralization Act will be released this week,” said Solih.

He said that Male’ City Council, Addu City Council and Fuvahmulah City Council will be bestowed with “multiple powers” this beginning week.

The Cabinet, last week, agreed to expedite returning the powers which were taken from city councils.

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, during his administration transferred several crucial powers, including the authority to award land, from city councils to government ministries, citing failure to provide speedy services to local communities and obstruction of the State.