September 28 2022 5:42 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Syndicates’ elections date remains unclear

professional syndicate complex
Professional Syndicates Complex (Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Elections for the professional syndicates have been postponed multiple times following defense orders issued by the government. As the health situation and number of COVID-19 infections are affected by every active sector of the Kingdom, defense orders were imposed to combat the infection rate by limiting social interactions among citizens as much as possible.اضافة اعلان

Government spokesperson Sakher Dudin said in media statements in late April that “No sort of elections will be conducted as long as there’s a curfew and closed sectors.” Despite holding parliamentary elections at the end of last year, and setting a date for municipal and local elections in August of this year, the government is yet to allow elections for professional syndicates to take place.

Head of the Professional Associations Council Abdel Hadi Falahat told Jordan News that he had received promises that elections would be permitted in April for syndicates with a small number of members, while the elections for medium-sized syndicates would be allowed in June or July. The largest syndicates would have to wait until the end of the year.

“Small syndicates were supposed to hold their elections in April. The government told us to postpone the elections because of the implications for the epidemiological situation,” Falahat said. “They didn’t set a specific date to run the elections again.”

The small syndicates that were supposed to hold elections include the syndicates of geologists, construction contractors, and journalists.

“The government told us that they would set a meeting to discuss the new dates of the elections,” he said, adding that the syndicates had not received further updates despite trying to “contact them multiple times. ... I wish they would take our situation more seriously.”

One syndicate leader told Jordan News, on condition of anonymity, that syndicates’ election laws are supervised by each syndicate’s general assembly. Those election laws conflict with the defense order.

Chief of the geologists’ syndicate Sakher Nsour told Jordan News that he “cannot fully process the reason why we’re not treated like the parliament or the municipalities.”

The syndicates’ law specifies “that the elections have to take place. The general assembly refused to give us an exemption to (hold the election) virtually,” Nsour said, despite the fact that elections “have been continuously postponed for almost one year.”

Holding the elections is not the only challenge his syndicate is facing, the geologist said. “We had to cut off retirement payments,” as members stopped paying their dues, he said, explaining that “they know that the elections are not going to be conducted any time soon.”

Nsour pointed out that there are multiple solutions the government can implement to help them hold the elections on time, such as vaccinating the members of the general assembly before conducting the elections, or at least testing them using the PCR station at the syndicate.

There are currently around 5,000 members of the Geologists Syndicate, less than 1,000 of whom pay their monthly dues. “If I’m being generous, I’d say that 250 people attend the elections. Social distancing measures can easily be adopted; the theater at the syndicates’ complex can fit 1,000 socially distanced people, and the government knows.” Nsour elaborated.

Chief of Construction Contractors Syndicate Ahmad Alyaqoub confirmed that the elections were postponed by the government, and no election date has been provided. He said his syndicate did not mind being at the “front of the line as a test of the effectiveness of syndicates’ elections during COVID-19, we want to get the elections over with.”

“There are other people at the syndicate that want to be chief or spokesperson of the syndicate. We need to give them the opportunity they deserve,” Alyaqoub added. “I wish that the government would elaborate more, now that the pandemic is receding.”

Read more national news