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Jumhooree Party manifesto conflicts with MDP pledges

Shaina Abdulla
05 July 2018, MVT 15:41
Members of the opposition coalition at a press briefing early 2018
Shaina Abdulla
05 July 2018, MVT 15:41

Jumhoory Party (JP) has released a manifesto for the opposition coalition, conflicting certain pledges of the coalition counterpart Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s announced manifesto.

The manifesto to parties of the opposition coalition by JP was released on Sunday with the signature of JP founder Qasim Ibrahim.

JP had pledged in their manifesto to follow the current governance system, whilst MDP had pledged to change the presidential system to a parliamentary system.

Another key pledge by JP in conflict with MDP is the refusal to appoint foreign judges, despite the MDP manifesto allowing expatriates to serve as justices in courts across Maldives.

JP had also pledged to:

- Free the Judicial Service Commission and judges of political influence.

- Ensure all drugs are illegalized.

- Ensure all power and responsibilities of the police and military are not diminished, by law or otherwise.

- Ensure no foreign soldiers serve to the Maldivian state.

- Not give up any strategic investment of the state or main gateways of the country in a manner that disrupts Maldivian sovereignty. Such important assets should always remain under full power of the government.

- Repeal amendments brought to the Constitution such as the age cap on presidential candidates, laws that infringe the rights of free press as well as the rights of Parliament lawmakers and judges.

- Rejoin the Commonwealth which Maldives left in 2016, strengthen ties with international community and establish an independent foreign policy.

- Form a council with coalition leaders to make all major decisions upon agreement of the coalition government.

JP further commented on the short-lived coalition with current ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and noted that the important components of the JP manifesto must be incorporated in the opposition coalition agreement.

The opposition coalition had earlier agreed to put forth a presidential candidate representing the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) accompanied by a running mate from Jumhooree Party (JP) to contest in the upcoming presidential elections. The MDP’s national congress declared the party’s parliamentary group leader MP Ibrahim "Ibu" Mohamed Solih as MDP’s candidate in the upcoming elections. JP, however, is yet to announce a running mate for the upcoming elections slated for September.

Upon announcement of the MDP manifesto, the opposition presidential candidate had stressed on the value of compromise to maintain the coalition and welcomed all parties of the opposition coalition to propose changes to its manifesto.

However, MP Solih noted that MDP will not make any changes to its manifesto that would influence the main fundamentals of the opposition party.

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