President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Wednesday renewed the powers and functions of city councils.
The Decentralization Act states that the powers and functions of city councils are determined by the incumbent President. Amendments were brought to the Constitution in former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration to reassign much of city councils’ functions and authority to other government administrations.
The President’s Office revealed that the powers of city councils were renewed following counsel from the Cabinet. The renewed powers authorize the councils to lease out, invest in, or own land, lagoons and reefs for economic and social purposes.
In addition, city councils can now name and rename roads, parks, vehicles and vessels, and any administration working under the council. The newly granted powers also allow the councils to temporarily or permanently close down parks, roads and public squares.
The functions of city councils, as newly stated by the President, include leasing of land plots, registration of land plots and buildings, maintaining records of agreements regarding land leases, managing mosques, maintaining records of births and deaths, road development, and maintaining relevant statistics and the registry of citizens and expatriates in the city.
The other two cities in Maldives, excluding the capital city of Male’, are Addu and Fuvahmulah. Renewing the powers of councils was one of the pre-electoral pledges of President Solih.