President Mohamed Nasheed has returned the bill designating capital islands of Administrative Regions, to the People’s Majlis for reconsideration.

In a letter to the Speaker of the People’s Majlis, President Nasheed said Attorney General had advised him the bill limited the freedom and power of the people to decide the capital island of their respective Administrative Region.

Although article 5 of the bill provides for changing capital islands through a secret ballot among the people as recommended by atoll councils, the bill, by already specifying capital islands, limits people’s freedom and power to determine their capital islands.

The President noted in his letter that capital islands were decided in the bill without consultation with and deliberation among the people, compromising the democratic process required for such a matter.

The President said he believed that the people belonging to a respective administrative region must be completely free to decide their capital island.