(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — The "EU Support to Jordanian Democratic Institutions and Development" (EU-JDID) and the Ministry of Political and Parliamentary Affairs (MoPPA) on Monday concluded a workshop aimed at reviewing the progress made to develop the country's political party system, in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD).
Held under the patronage of MoPPA's secretary general, Bakr Al Abaddi, the two-day event started off with an introduction to the third component of the EU-JDID project: the support to the political party system, in the presence of MoPPA officials and staff and representatives of political parties.
Commending the partnership between MoPPA and the EU project, Al Abaddi stressed the ministry's efforts in 'supporting the creation of an encouraging environment for political parties and enhancing their capacities'.
Al Abadi urged the country's political parties to benefit from the project in a way that would 'best fit their needs' by developing media platforms that educate citizens and encourage them to engage in the partisan life, with a special focus on women and the youth.
'We now hope to move to a new stage where political parties become active and play an important role in the upcoming parliamentary, municipality and governorate councils' elections,' he stated, noting that the great number of parties currently existing in the Kingdom poses 'a challenge to the team members of the project's Component III and the project as a whole'.
As of April 2018, there are 47 registered political parties in Jordan, and 15 currently under-establishment, according to the latest official figures, which expect the number of registered and approved political parties in Jordan to reach 62 in the near future.
The workshop, which aimed to introduce the project's implementing partner NIMD and the activities encompassed in the Component III, including manifestos development, strategic planning, voter matching tools and inter-party dialogues, sought to encourage the stakeholders to exchanges thoughts on the type of political party system required to best respond to the citizens' needs.
'The number of meetings conducted by NIMD with a number of political parties shed light on the need for an additional understanding of the political parties and MoPPA's expectations of the political party system,' a MoPPA official said, noting that the project will include a series of workshops tackling the aforementioned topics.
International expert Jerome Schelthens, from The Hague, highlighted the role of NIMD in promoting and supporting democracy at the international level through working with political parties, parliamentary institutions and different parties in the political spectrum.
'These sessions are key in supporting open discussions and inter- party dialogues on party-related matters, and strengthening cooperation between them in order to promote the political life and the democratic process in the country,' he said, before outlining the tools to be deployed by political parties in this regards such as voter education, strategic planning, manifesto development and inter-party dialogue.
Ali Asfour, from the Jordanian Democratic Nature Party, agreed with the trainer, saying 'I think holding regular party dialogue with government officials is important to encourage the exchange of opinion and thoughts.'
The participating parties provided a list of recommendations and proposed activities to be implemented by the project including holding open discussions with the government and the Parliament on party matters and legislations; enhancing youth's and women's participation in political parties, and building the capacity of the political parties internally.
Member of the Rescue and Partnership Party Ghaith Al Maani stressed the need to 'first build the political party internal democracy before anything else'.
Praising a 'very engaging session in which the participant contributed with relevant experiences on the topics tackled', the project's Technical Adviser Aseel Sha'ban concluded: 'This event allowed us to show stakeholders that the project welcomes any recommendations and proposals from the political parties with the aim of supporting and enhancing the partisan life in Jordan.'