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Pharmacists ‘to escalate protests’ demanding syndicate elections

By Omar Obeidat - Jun 18,2016 - Last updated at Jun 18,2016

Pharmacists discuss preparations for a sit-in outside the Health Ministry in this photo taken late last week (Photo courtesy of Yousef Abu Mallouh)

AMMAN — Pharmacists are scheduled to hold a sit-in outside the Health Ministry headquarters on Monday to press authorities to set a date to elect the council of their association, which has been dissolved for over a year.

For nearly three weeks, pharmacists have been holding sit-ins at the headquarters of the Professional Associations Complex in Amman’s Shmeisani, calling on the Health Ministry to set a date to elect the Jordan Pharmacists Association’s (JPhA) council members.

Former JPhA president Ahmad Issa told The Jordan Times on Saturday that the sit-in planned for Monday is an escalatory step to protest against what he termed the reluctance of the ministry to resolve the issue of the election date, adding that authorities are not “paying attention to the demands of pharmacists”.

The JPhA elections had been scheduled for May 20, but the former health minister, Ali Hiasat, suspended the vote due to a dispute among the leading members of the syndicate over whether the upcoming council should be considered a new one or as complementary to the previous one, which was dissolved after several members resigned over internal differences. 

The vote was called off just a week before the polls. 

The dispute prompted the ministry to request legal assistance from the Law Interpretation Bureau. 

Once there is an answer from the bureau, an election date will be set, an official previously told The Jordan Times. The ministry referred the issue to the bureau on May 24. 

“It is unacceptable that the association has been without a council to take decisions on issues of extreme importance to all members, particularly decisions related to investments and funds,” Issa said.

He noted that the previous council, which he headed, was dissolved in May 2015, adding that the ministry should have called for a general assembly meeting immediately and held elections within a month.

The unionist said pharmacists would take further steps to “make their voices heard” and to push decision makers to set a date for elections. 

“If our demands remain unanswered, we will protest outside the Prime Ministry,” he added. 

Officials from the Health Ministry were not available for comment. 

 

Pharmacists will have to elect 10 members and a president to form the JPhA council. According to the law, if five members or more resign then the council must be dissolved.

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