November 29 2022 5:09 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Lower House passes elections bill

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Lower House on Tuesday passed the elections draft law. It is one of two key pieces of legislation, alongside constitutional amendments, to modernize the political system and move the Kingdom towards a parliamentary system.اضافة اعلان

The parties would run on platforms and be capable of being elected to Parliament and forming governments, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The new system would incrementally increase the number of representatives who represent parties, from an initial 30 percent in the next parliamentary elections up to 65 percent in the next 10 years.

These changes would come in parallel with economic and administrative reforms to pursue a Jordanian model of local governance.

The draft law redraws the electoral map into two types of districts: local and general, totaling 138 seats. Of these, 97 are allocated to local constituencies spread over 18 electoral precincts, and 41 seats are allocated to the general list that are set aside for parties and coalitions.

The bill gives voters two votes within a mixed electoral system, which adopts a closed proportional system for party lists, and an open proportional system for local lists. The election threshold is 7 percent for lists in local districts and 2.5 percent in general districts.

The draft law also requires at least one woman to be among the first three candidates of the general (partisan) lists and a young candidate (30 or younger) among the first five candidates. At the local level, the law sets aside 18 seats for women, nine for Christians, and three for Circassians and Chechens.

Furthermore, the law reduces the minimum age to stand for election to 25, considers voters’ place of residence when preparing lists, and makes voters’ ID the only document required to vote. The law does not require public sector employees to resign before running for Parliament and also imposes a sentence of up to two years in prison for election-related crimes and infractions.

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