Deputy leader of opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Dr. Mohamed Muizzu took oath as mayor of Male’ City on Monday, a month after his decisive win at the council elections.
His oath was administered in a virtual ceremony by High Court’s chief judge Hathif Hilmy on Monday morning.
Muizzu, who served as housing minister during former president Abdulla Yameen’s Abdul Gayoom’s administration, won the election with a decisive victory over ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) candidate Anas Abdul Sattar.
Muizzu won 12,470 votes, while Anas won 7,436 votes.
It marks the first time for a non-MDP candidate to the elected mayor of the Maldivian capital.
The elections saw MDP lose its long-held majority in the Male’ City Council. MDP won only six seats, while PPM won 11 seats.
‘THIS WILL NOT BE A POLITICAL CENTER’
In his address during his first council meeting, held after the oath taking ceremony, Muizzu said the newly-elected Male’ City Council will be different from the last. He said the council will not be a political center, but will be dedicated to providing public service, irrespective of politics.
Muizzu said the newly-elected Male’ City Council will be “a garden of service” where the public is consulted with before decisions are made.
He advised all councilors to provide equal service to the public, regardless of political affiliation.
Male’ City Council also passed its new strategic action plan “To the Direction the People Want’ during the meeting. The main objectives of the SAP are focused on housing, improving the streets and other public areas, employment, digitalizing services, improving the efficiency of council’s administrative services, and improving accessibility of councilors to public.
Muizzu said the Male’ City Council requires significant cooperation from the central government to achieve the objectives, and asked that the government provide its cooperation, not as an obligation to the council, but for the sake of the people.
“The city council will be the government’s closest ally, for as long as the government provides its cooperation,” he said.
Muizzu also called for the government to cease its plans to relocate the Male’ Commercial Port to Gulhifalhu instead of Thilafushi, as originally planned. He said that the decision to relocate to Gulhifalhu merits no technical justification, and asked that the area remain solely designated to solve the housing crisis in the capital.
He also called on the government to subtract the cost of finishing work for units under the Hiyaa Housing Projects from the total payments owed by tenants.