Work to increase the Local Government Authority (LGA) board from five to nine members, has begun.
While the board initially comprised of nine members, the previous administration reduced it to five in 2017, in addition to various other changes to the Decentralization Act.
It also brought changes to how members are appointed to the LGA board. While the law previously stated that board be comprised of one cabinet minister assigned by the president, one Male’ City councilor, four atoll councilors, a civil society member, one ordinary member and one city councilor, it was changed to one cabinet minister, a female expert in gender equality, member of a civil society, an expert in governance or public administration and a chief executive officer.
The amendments also gave the president the full authority to appoint and dismiss the cabinet minister and CEO. In addition, the nominees for the three remaining posts is to be forwarded to the People’s Majlis, by the president; these three members can only be dismissed through parliament.
While President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration intends to change the board to a nine-member one, there will still be a cabinet minister, an expert in gender equality, an expert in governance or public administration and a chief executive officer, on the board.
However, the current administration’s amendment will appoint an expert in law, instead of a member of the civil society, while the three additional members will comprise of city councilor, atoll councilor and island councilor; all three members are to be elected through a vote. The ninth member will be appointed by the finance minister.
Furthermore, the proposed changes to the decentralization law includes reserving 33 percent of council seats to female candidates, and electing a committee in each island for the development of women.
The decentralization law is currently being reviewed by the parliament.