JEA’s elections saw irregularities, clashes some members claim

WhatsApp Image 2022-02-19 at 6.57.12 PM
Members of the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) stand in line to vote in the JEA elections in Zarqa, on February 18, 2022. (Photo: Facebook)
AMMAN — A series of disagreements between Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) President Ahmad Sammarah Al-Zu’bi and several members of the central board, following a series of clashes over the amendments to the JEA’s internal laws, climaxed Saturday with some members accusing Zu’bi of overseeing and engaging in irregularities, including electoral fraud, in the association elections held on February 18.اضافة اعلان

Engineer Maysara Malas told Jordan News that “the election process is supposed to happen in secrecy, but some were seen taking photo shots of ballot papers” in an attempt to intimidate voters, as there allegedly was “interference of external parties in the elections to support certain lists”.

Malas also said that the votes were cast in open space, as no separate booths were available, and thus “no privacy”, and that “these actions are unprecedented”.

“We never witnessed any forms of irregularities in the election process,” Malas said, stressing that “voting is a personal matter”.

The deputy president of the Civil Engineering Division at the JEA and a former board of directors member, Sary Zuaiter, told Jordan News that the elections that took place in the Irbid branch of JEA was “a real farce. I can tell from my experience that freedom to elect (a representative) is non-existent.”

Zuaiter added that “the election was supposed to be a private affair and happen quietly, but what happened is that voters were sitting all together in one place, discussing who they were going to vote for and some external parties forced the engineers to vote for specific lists.”

He added that these irregularities violate the law of the association and any election law.

“There is no longer honest competition among members, and no longer competition for professionalism and competence. Engineers are forced to choose specific people, regardless of their competence or professionalism,” he said.

JEA Vice President Fawzi Masaad told Jordan News that there was some trouble during the election process in Al-Salt: “Things were going fine, until a nominee started to make trouble after he noticed that he will not win.”

Masaad added that problems do happen during the election process as, “unfortunately, we suffer from poor sportsmanship, and we cannot face our losses. This is life; in any elections, there will be losers and there will be winners”.

He also said that the elections were fair and that “we do not care about what is being said, all we care about is to move forward and support our association and colleagues as much as we can”.

On Friday, JEA elections were held in the branches of the association in the governorates of Irbid, Tafileh, Ajloun, Jerash, Mafraq, Balqa, and Zarqa. The head and members of the council were elected at these branches, with the exception of the Jerash branch, where the council won by acclamation.

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