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‘Pharmacists to escalate protests to demand syndicate elections’

By Suzanna Goussous - Jul 25,2016 - Last updated at Jul 25,2016

AMMAN — Pharmacists will escalate protests to demand that authorities set a date to elect a new council for their association, former Jordan Pharmacists Association (JPhA) members said on Monday. 

The JPhA council was dissolved over a year ago after five members resigned, in accordance with the legal requirement that the council must be dissolved if five or more members quit. 

“The council was dissolved in May 2015. It is about time authorities did something about it,” said the dissolved council’s former president, Ahmad Issa. 

“We, as pharmacists, have been waiting for over a year. It is a loop of confusion among members and former committee representatives,” he told The Jordan Times.

Meetings held over the last month have been fruitless, and the Health Ministry has still not set a date to elect a new council, Issa added. 

“Electing committee members is our right, but setting a date for the [elections] is constantly being postponed,” he said.

The former JPhA president said the vote had been postponed for several reasons, including objections by some association members and “vague” decisions by the Health Ministry. 

By law, elections should be held within one month of the dissolution of the council, he noted, adding that pharmacists would “escalate measures” to demand a date for the vote. 

“Our association is vital to Jordan. There is no logical reason for postponing the elections for this long,” Issa said.

Mohammad Ababneh, another former president of the JPhA, said members were waiting for a response from the ministry. 

“Pharmacists have expressed their demands during several protests over the past two months. We are waiting for the minister and the concerned authorities to respond,” he added.

The elections had been scheduled to take place on May 20, but Ababneh said the Law Interpretation Bureau postponed the vote to study whether the newly elected council would replace the dissolved council or complement it.

The bureau decided in June that the upcoming council will be considered a new one, explaining that the previous council was considered to have completed its full tenure.

Health Ministry Spokesperson Hatem Azrui said the ministry is studying the elections schedule to guarantee an efficient, legal voting procedure.  

“The ministry seeks to schedule a date for the elections after studying the matter from all aspects. We are frequently meeting with association members and previous council representatives to reach an agreement,” Azrui told The Jordan Times.

“The ministry has a direct link to the association members. We sent an official document stating the rules and regulations from a legal authority. The ministry is currently waiting for a response from the syndicate,” Ahezrui added.

 

According to the ministry official, authorities will move forward with setting a date for elections as soon as the JPhA agrees to the document. 

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