President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih reaffirmed on Wednesday that decentralisation is key to the meaningful progress sought by island communities.
Speaking to the residents of Hulhudheli, Dhaalu Atoll, President Solih said that utility services and other essential necessities are of utmost importance to all island communities and that decentralisation will set forth on achieving these goals through empowering local communities.
President Solih further stated that the administration submitted the bill on decentralisation to the parliament within the previous week.
Highlighting that the government has already delegated numerous powers to the councils, the president assured that decentralisation will be established in the country within this administration.
Emphasising that decentralisation will grant more powers to the people, the president noted the importance of supporting candidates who would work together with the administration in achieving the government's pledges in the upcoming council elections.
The president further stressed the importance of electing candidates who would strive to bring development to the communities and work with the spirit of the Strategic Action Plan.
Speaking on the amendment brought to the Anti-Terrorism Act, the president said that the purpose of the bill was not to curtail the freedom of expression, adding that the government will not hinder any constitutional rights.
However, he assured that the administration will not tolerate hate speech and inciting of violence, emphasising the significance of peace and harmony within the nation for it to develop and prosper.
In that regard, the president noted that the government will do everything in its power to stop any forms of violence and aggression towards any individual or group of people.
Moreover, he stated that every head of state must act against any forms of aggression and chaos.
The president said that the current administration gives high priority to driving policies that bring about meaningful change, referring to the recent income tax bill proposed by the state, which would further generate income for developmental activities.
Speaking about the challenges faced by the fishermen, President Solih further explained that the government is working on the expansion of Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) and enhancing the capacity of Felivaru and Kooddoo to accommodate the needs of fishermen.
Citing the introduction of a quota system in the Arabian Sea and the control of netting in the Indian Ocean, the president noted that it has been a good year for local fisheries and that the completion of the expansion of facilities will accommodate for the necessities of the fishermen in the near future.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih concluded his trip to Hulhudheli and Kudahuvadhoo island of Dhaalu Atoll and returned to Malé on Thursday afternoon.
During the visit, the president met with island councillors and senior institutional representatives from both islands, in addition to attending the Golden Jubilee celebration ceremony of Dhaalu Atoll Hospital, where he also inaugurated dental services.