Councillors suspended ahead of opposition rally

Councillors suspended ahead of opposition rally
February 01 16:11 2018

Five councillors from Haa Alif Ihavandhoo have been suspended without pay for three months by the Local Government Authority (LGA), local media reports.

The suspension comes as the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party prepares to hold a rally on the island Friday. All five are involved in setting it up, according to a community news website.

The LGA said the five were suspended for acting inappropriately during last year’s fishermen’s day celebrations on the island.

They behaved in a way that caused “societal conflict and sullied the government’s reputation”, the LGA said according to the SunOnline report, and their actions showed no spirit of cooperating with government offices to mark a national celebration.

The event was overshadowed by the opposition and fishermen, who were protesting against Chinese competition and low fish purchasing prices.

Fisheries Minister Dr Mohamed Shainee criticised the council for their lack of cooperation.

But the council denied politicising the event, blaming the administration’s supporters for decorating the island with ruling party colours for the “national” celebration.

The suspension notice says the five are barred from entering council premises – unless it is for personal matters – and representing the council in any form during the three-month period.

The council’s permanent secretary, Mohamed Ibrahim, will be in charge during the suspension.