Tonight at nine o’clock the most looked-forward event in the political reform process in the recent history of the country will happen at Dharubaaruge. The event organized by Haveeru is the first time that the two leading and opposing political parties in the country will have the opportunity for a legitimate and reasonably civilized showdown in public.
It is interesting that in shaping the future of this country, we are only concerned with who will be the next President / Prime Minister of the country, and that the issue is debated mostly around a Mecca of Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. However, I believe that the issue of governance for a prosperous country with a quality of life worth being proud of; does not end with whether, the government will be headed by a President or Prime Minister.
It goes beyond the people who will be elected to govern this country. It is about the systems and processes that will be put in place to ensure that the right person will emerge, to lead the people and the nation. That he will be guided by systems and processes that would ensure that the right decisions will be made. One of the major obstacles to a prosperous nation of Maldives, will continue to be the demographic reality and how it is managed. As it is now, we are divided by natural realities into twenty different atolls. I wonder whether this is how we should be structured in the next Constitution. I hear no one talking about this major issue, other than how many more seats should be given to atolls with a higher population.
It is a very strong belief I hold, that the constituencies of the country should be along the lines of a new administrative structure. My opinion is that the country should be divided into six or seven Municipalities which will have satellite islands around them. Each of the municipalities can have a President of the Municipality who can be elected by the population within it. For instance, Furamaale Municipality and Hulhumaale Municipality can have the islands in the surrounding atolls attached to it. Then we could have Hainmaale (Hanimaadhoo) Municipality or Kulhumaale (Kulhudhuffushi) Municipality, Eydhamaale Municipality, Thinamaale Municipality, Ganmaale Municipality, Addumaale Municipality, and so on. I am sure some of us will laugh at this idea.
Believe me! If not the above, we need to find an administrative structure for the governance of this county that is more practical, cost effective, and that is pro population consolidation than we have now.