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MDP pledges more authority to local councils

Shaina Abdulla
04 July 2018, MVT 09:58
MDP congress held at Alif Alif atoll Ukulhas.
Shaina Abdulla
04 July 2018, MVT 09:58

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), in their manifesto for the upcoming elections, has declared that the party will compose a national policy for land utilization, and plan to retain all lands and lagoons under the jurisdiction of the island councils to their respective islands.

Under MDP’s key pledge to achieve island life, the opposition administration will bring amendments to the decentralization act of Maldives and further boost the power and duties of all councils. The MDP manifesto also aims to assign work of government ministries to atoll councils and city councils, and pay a percentage of rental fees to the respective council for areas and land under their jurisdiction.

Other pledges in the MDP manifesto include allowing expatriates to serve as justices in courts across Maldives, reducing the term of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to a period of three years to maintain the public’s trust in the courts of Maldives, and to make the Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) an independent body, establish a bar council and create a public defender office to those who do not have the means to procure legal assistance.

MDP further pledged to ensure justice after introducing a parliamentary system by amending the Constitution before 2020, and ban foreign vessels from fishing in Maldivian waters. The opposition party also pledged to reduce rates on domestic flights to work permit holders and citizens.

The MDP manifesto consists of five key pledges, aimed at better development, equality and justice to the country.

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