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Dr. Muizzu’s last council meeting: all duties to deputy mayor

Lamya Abdulla
04 October 2023, MVT 23:17
(FILE) Dr. Muizzu during the final campaign rally on September 29, 2023: he said as per the legal advice he received, he has handed over his duties as mayor to Deputy Mayor Nareesh during the transitionary period -- Photo: Nishan Ali / Mihaaru
Lamya Abdulla
04 October 2023, MVT 23:17

Malé City mayor, and president-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu hands over all council responsibilities to deputy mayor Ahmed Nareesh in the general council meeting held today.

The City Council meeting held this morning was the last meeting Dr. Muizzu participated as the city’s mayor. All of Malé councilors participated in this meeting.

During the meeting, Dr. Muizzu acknowledged the challenges faced by the councilors and staff over the past two years while he served as mayor. He expressed gratitude for their dedication and bravery in carrying out their duties during this period.

He said that until he is sworn into office on November 17, he will continue to hold the position of mayor legally. However, the responsibilities will henceforth be taken by the deputy mayor, and this was how he was advised by the City Council’s legal team, in addition to the Local Government Authority (LGA) as well.

Dr. Muizzu said that this decision was made because he wants to prioritize his time to the work that must be done during this transitionary period between two administrations.

“I want to give a lot of time to the transition during this transition period. Otherwise when work starts on November 17, [I] may not be fully prepared,” he said.

"I want to give my full time to the transition work, the way the committees function, to help with the director general's work, the whole work, collecting and analysing information from all over the place [to prepare for the responsibility of governance]."

Therefore, for the next one-and-a-half months, on the advice of the legal team and the LGA, he will be on special status leave, Dr. Muizzu said.

He was sworn in as the Mayor of Malé City on May 17, 2021. According to the Decentralisation Act, when the post of mayor falls vacant, the Election Commission (EC) has to hold a bi-election within 60 days after the LGA informs them of the vacant position.

Guarantee to fully support councils

Dr. Muizzu said that the current administration had posed challenges during his two years as mayor. However, he assured that once he assumes office, he will support all councils, regardless of their political affiliations.

“Some of the delayed works of this council will go forward then as well, God willing. Decentralisation will be championed in the true sense," he said.

Dr. Muizzu also announced the creation of a special ministry to strengthen relations between the councils and the government and empower them. The announcement was made during the election campaign. "This is to appoint a full-time minister for the LGA, the guardian of the councils," he said.

Dr. Muizzu has previously said that he plans to establish a ministry to improve the relationship between councils and the government. This announcement, made during his campaign, indicates that a minister will be in charge of the Local Government Authority (LGA).

Dr. Muizzu also pledged to transfer the sixth neighborhood of Malé city, Hulhumalé, which is currently under Urbanco, within the jurisdiction of Malé City Council.