1.3 million Jordanians vote in local elections

Ajloun registers the highest vote turnout, Amman the lowest

(Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — More than 1.3 million Jordanians had voted by 5pm Tuesday, to elect heads and members of municipal councils, members of governorate councils, and two-thirds of the Greater Amman Municipality Council. اضافة اعلان

Independent Election Commission (IEC) spokesman Mohammad Rawashdeh told Jordan News that by the time of writing the report, the voter turnout in Ajloun governorate was the highest, while in the capital it was the lowest.

He said that the elections were proceeding according to plan. He also said that “some individual irregularities were found, and the commission is ready to receive complaints at any time during the electoral process,” stressing that violators may be referred to the judiciary.

Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh cast his vote at Tayseer Zabian School in Amman. He told Jordan News that he was happy to exercise his civic right to vote, stressing that this was the first general election after the Committee to Modernize the Political System issued its outputs, and that the ballot box is the right way to contribute to the decision-making process.

Khasawneh also pointed to the role of municipal elections in decentralization, and stressed the need to elect the right person who represents the aspirations of citizens, as this will help the development process.

“We are on the threshold of a new and real development process, and participation in the elections is a national responsibility,” he said, encouraging citizens to participate in the elections.

Director of the Civil Alliance for Election Observation Amer Bani Amer confirmed that a number of violations were committed, most notably attempts to cause riots in a number of governorates, especially in the Ma’an governorate, but “the security services quickly took control of the situation”.

At a press conference held at the headquarters of the “Rased” operations room, Bani Amer said that 223 electoral violations were reported in all governorates of the Kingdom, like “taking photos of ballot papers as evidence that the voter had voted for a particular person”.

However, vote buying “was minimal compared to previous years”, Bani Amer told Jordan News.

While visiting a number of voting venues in various areas of Amman from the early morning hours until the afternoon, this reporter noticed low voter turnout.

Head of Jamil Shaker School Center Ahmad Rahhal told Jordan News that the electoral activity was weak, stressing “that it is necessary for all citizens to participate in order for the electoral process to succeed”, and that “this is a constitutional right that all citizens should take advantage of”.

Najah Atta Ahmad, a voter, told Jordan News that casting one’s ballot is a constitutional right, stressing that “I am fully convinced that the person I voted for is the right person and that is why I voted for him”.

“I believe that we have to be part of the change, and I insist on participating in all elections,” she added.

Raeda Bisharat, head of Dahiyat Al-Hussein School Center, told Jordan News that while the voter turnout seems low, things are organized and the electoral process is going smoothly.

“This is a national duty and we all have to participate in it, especially since each of us has a specific role to play,” she said.

Read more National news