Jabir calls for one-year suspension of local councils

Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir. (Photo/People's Majlis)

DRP leader, Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir said on Monday that all island and atoll councils need to be placed under one-year suspension.

The report compiled by Decentralization Committee following its review of President’s nominees for three vacancies on Local Government Authority (LGA)’s Board was presented at the Parliament on Monday morning.

Speaking during the debate on the report, Jabir criticized local councils.

He said that the biggest issue facing councils is infighting.

Jabir said that the principles of decentralization had been more effectively applied when Maldives had atoll chiefs.

“Back then, the central government had some level of control. But now the government has no power,” he said.

Jabir said that the biggest disadvantage of empowering councils is being suffered by local business owners. He said that councils were refusing to honor agreements made in the past, and that business owners have nowhere to go to voice their complaints.

Jabir said that Maldives now has federations and asked how businesses could operate within federations.

“When they look to operate their businesses in direct collaboration with councils, the councils lack the capacity. There’s no way to discuss business. No skills. No aptitude. No training. I therefore believe councils should be placed under immediate suspension for one year,” he said.

Jabir said that the councils should be provided necessary training during suspension.