AG: LGA wrong to order Kendhikulhudhoo Council to retract statement

Attorney General Ahmed Usham. (Photo/President's Office)

The Local Government Authority (LGA) cannot order councils to retract the press statements they issue, says Attorney General Ahmed Usham.

N. Kendhikulhudhoo Council had issued a statement last week in which it accused President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu of misusing state resources to campaign for the parliamentary elections during his current tour of the atolls. LGA responded by sending a letter to the council, asking it to retract the statement.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Usham said he does not believe the LGA has the legal authority to force councils to retract statements.

He said that he has instructed the LGA not to act in such a manner.

“I find it hard to believe the LGA can tell councils to retract press statements. This is not something I find acceptable,” he said.

Usham said he finds LGA’s actions concerning.

“I told LGA that I do not believe they can act in such a manner,” he said.

Kendhikulhudhoo Council, in its statement, accused President Muizzu of appealing for votes for the ruling PPM-PNC in an event organized by the council and without its permission.

It also refused to follow LGA’s orders to retract the statement.

The main opposition MDP reacted to the situation by accusing the government of intimidating councils and attempting to constrict its powers.

However, Local Government Minister Adam Shareef Umar rejected the allegations, stating that the government was working to empower local councils in the truest sense.