JP mulls primaries as part of reform efforts

The opposition Jumhooree Party (JP) is mulling the idea of presidential primaries and regional branches as part of reform efforts.

A seven-member committee is looking at ways of building a stronger relationship with members and boosting public support.

“Right now the party congress is limited to unelected members of other committees of the party. We want to form branches and have representatives of these branches in the Congress. That is one of the most important things we will be doing,” MP Ali Hussain said.

The committee is also looking to reform the process of nominating party members for public elections by introducing primaries within the party.

“After the reform, every candidate running in the name of JP would have gone through a primary first,” he said.

According to the party’s current constitution, the JP leader is automatically nominated as a presidential candidate. If the reform is approved all party members can take part in primaries and be considered for selection.

JP leader Gasim Ibrahim, who was sentenced to three years in absentia for attempted bribery in August, was the party’s nominee in the last two presidential elections.

Ali Hussain added that internal party elections will be held by a credible NGO who can be trusted to oversee it free and fairly.

“We want to build trust with the public and the most effective way to do this is to work with them. The people should know that they are always welcome at the party.”

The reform committee is expected to complete its work by November.

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