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JP opens applications for all parliament constituencies

Fathmath Shaahunaz
24 December 2018, MVT 10:29
Qasim Ibrahim chairs Jumhooree Party's Council Meeting on December 23, 2018. PHOTO/JP
Fathmath Shaahunaz
24 December 2018, MVT 10:29

Jumhooree Party (JP) on Sunday opened applications to run for all the seats on parliament with the party's ticket.

The party made the decision during a council meeting held late Sunday.

Chaired by JP's leader Qasim Ibrahim, the council set January 25 as the deadline for interested party members to apply for the parliamentary elections slated for April 6 next year.

While applications are open for all 87 seats on the parliament, Qasim Ibrahim revealed that a five-member committee will finalise which applicants are eligible for candidacy, based on their education and capabilities.

However, the party is yet to disclose its policy on issuing electoral tickets.

Speaking to local media Mihaaru after the meeting, Qasim assured that while JP is yet undecided on which constituencies it will contest for, the party will hand over its ticket only to the most suitable of applicants.

He added that the five-member committee will also decide on holding primaries should circumstances necessitate one.

Meanwhile JP will hand over tickets without primaries to the lawmakers, who were previously declared disqualified from parliament by the Elections Commissions, according to JP's Chief Spokesperson and council member Ali Solih. Noting that Qasim Ibrahim had vowed electoral tickets for the MPs in question after they joined the party, Solih stated that JP will follow through with his pledge.

Opinions are currently divided in the ruling coalition over the parliamentary elections. While the coalition had previously agreed to divide the constituencies among the four parties of the alliance, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) recently renounced the agreement and declared its intention to contest for every constituency except Nilandhoo, Faafu Atoll.

JP hit back last week, with Qasim Ibrahim declaring that his party would not hesitate to contest for all the seats as well. He had expressed that JP had remained reserved regarding the parliamentary elections because of its intention to abide by the ruling coalition's understandings.

However, he had warned that there was "an end to JP's patience" as well.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih met with the four parties of the ruling alliance last Thursday regarding the quarrel. He later stated that while the coalition made progress regarding the election, it would take more meetings for the parties to reach a decision on contesting for the seats.

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