Qasim Ibrahim, the leader of Jumhooree Party (JP), declared that changes will be made to the functioning of JP prior to the next presidential election.
Speaking at the ceremony held late Sunday to sign on new members, Qasim called on JP to strengthen the party before the 2023 elections.
He stated that, as part of the changes he intends propose to JP's functioning, the members will be granted the power to elect both JP's leader and presidential candidate. Currently, the party leader is chosen by JP's Congress.
Qasim went on to say that the people of Maldives has, to date, elected all the major political parties of the country, with the exception of JP. He noted that the parties in question won the previous elections with JP's support.
Qasim's statements were in reference to the first democratic presidential election of Maldives in 2008, which saw Mohamed Nasheed of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) come to power with JP's backing. Nasheed was later beaten in 2013 by Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), who JP had supported at the time. JP is also a member of the coalition that elected incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of MDP in the last election in 2018.
While JP boasts the third highest membership from among the political parties in Maldives, Qasim declared that this status quo need not be maintained. He vowed to increase efforts to up JP's membership to 30,000 within a year, adding that the party aims to win several seats in the upcoming Local Council Elections.