Lack of confidence in political parties stops people from joining

A man casts his ballot in the 2022 municipal and council elections in this undated photo. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — A public opinion poll conducted by the Center for Strategic Studies shows that 1 percent of Jordanians joined a political party, with the majority (88 percent) believing that political parties have failed in their political work, and only 12 percent believing that they have been successful.اضافة اعلان

The most important reasons for not joining parties, the poll found out, were: lack of interest in parties (46 percent), dissatisfaction with existing parties (26 percent), and conviction that parties fail to represent citizens (15 percent).

The majority of Jordanians (74 percent) say they have no affinity with any of the Jordanian political currents; 7 percent feel they are intellectually closer to the Islamists, 3 percent to the Arab nationalist parties, and 5 percent to national political parties.

MP Ghazi Al-Dhiabat told Jordan News that the reluctance to participate in elections is both a legacy and a firm belief; “we will need time and effort to convince people to start participating in the political process”.

Dhiabat stressed that there was a time “parties were being pursued by the authorities, and this was the reason people did not join parties. Also, our 50 parties are baseless and do not provide anything”.

Former MP Mamdouh Al-Abbadi told Jordan News that the study shows figures that he believes to be accurate for several reasons; “for 60 to 70 years governments have been fighting parties, therefore, from one generation to another, the opinion has been against parties”.

Abbadi stressed that the upcoming parties cannot be expected to “convince and change the general impression”.

“Moreover, those who call for participation have become part of the political modernization system and were involved in parties and then left, so how would they convince people to participate,” he asked.

Former lawmaker Jamil Al-Nimri told Jordan News that the poll figures are no reason for concern. In developed countries, the percentage does not exceed 2 percent, he said, stressing that “party membership is limited to those who engage in partisan activity”.

Nimri added that parties “will be real in the coming days, due to competition”. He urged “patience to determine how the elections law will affect this issue”, and expressed his belief that “fear of engaging in parties is fading”.

Political science specialist MP Muhammad Al-Khalayleh told Jordan News that the percentages in the poll reflect a flaw in the political reform system, adding that the government, with all its institutions, must strive to induce people to participate in political parties.

He said that the upcoming elections can be expected to face challenges, and that there are only two years to convince people to participate in partisan political life, which is not enough.

Khalayleh added that the elections and parties laws and constitutional amendment are ready, “we only need a non-traditional government to implement them”.

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