The Kendhikulhudhoo Council said on Monday that it will not withdraw its statement, outlining that President Mohamed Muizzu abused state resources by participating in what the council perceived as party-political campaigning under the guise of an official visit, despite the Local Government Authority (LGA) urging it to do so.

The LGA gave the council until 2 p.m. on Monday to retract its statement made regarding the President’s visit to Kendhikulhudhoo Island in Noonu (N) Atoll last Thursday.

However, members of the council decided not to revoke the statement because the LGA failed to provide a legal basis for why such an action was required, the council said.

The LGA did not provide a clear legal requirement, and as such, we decided not to cancel the statement,” council President Mohamed Rauf said, while the Kendhikulhudhoo Council, in its refusal to withdraw, went on to caution the LGA against actions that, in its view, would undermine the Decentralisation Act of 2010.

The President’s official visits to the atolls, which come as the country prepares for the parliamentary elections in April, have drawn sharp criticism from his opponents and observers alike; however, Minister for Strategic Communications at the President’s Office Ibrahim Khaleel told local media that rumors suggesting the president was engaging in party political activities through his official visits were false and unfounded.