Jumhooree Party was formed in May 2008, shortly before the first ever democratic elections in the history of the Maldives. Gasim Ibrahim, its current leader and presidential Candidate No.1 in this election, joined the party in August 2008 to become its presidential candidate. Gasim was defeated in the first round, after which the party joined Maldivian Democratic Party to form the winning coalition that defeated Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the second round.
In this 2013 election Jumhooree Party has formed an alliance, known as the Jumhooree Coalition, with Adhaalath Party, subsequently proclaiming that ‘Defending Islam’ is one of its main goals. Like Adhaalath Party, it is hard to know what the Jumhooree Coalition stands for. While Gasim holds Adhaalath Party leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla’s hand on one side, he holds Dr Hassan Saeed’s hand on the other. Dr Saeed, Gasim’s running-mate is the author of Freedom of Religion, Apostasy and Islam, which argues for religious tolerance and against the death penalty for apostasy. Adhaalath, meanwhile, would like nothing more than to hang anyone who even thinks of abandoning their faith in Islam.
In addition to the wildly diverging principles among partners in the Jumhooree Coalition, the party is yet to publish a manifesto, although its pledges have been many. The party website does provide a link to a document called a ‘manifestor’ but it dates back to May 2011, suggesting that it is unlikely to have been created with this particular election and current issues in mind.
Despite the confusion and lack of clear principles, goals and aims, the Jumhooree Coalition with its many hand-outs and promises of material goods along with benefits in afterlife via the rent-a-sheikhs at Adhaalath, appears to be gaining more support as the election draws closer. Many have expressed the opinion that the only serious rival to MDP in this election is the Jumhooree Coalition and its motely crew of allies.
Candidate: Gasim Ibrahim, Jumhooree Party
No of registered members: 12,154