Jordan's voice: Over two million register to have their say in first post-Arab Spring polls
The Independent Elections Commission (IEC) and the Civil Status and Passports Department (CSPD) on Monday concluded the registration of potential voters in the upcoming parliamentary elections expected to take place in December or at the beginning of next year.
Around 2.3 million voters have registered in 65 days, according to official figures released Monday evening. There are no exact figures on the number of eligible voters, but it is believed to be more than three million, half a million of them expatriate Jordanians most of them working in Gulf countries.
The registration process, which started on August 7, and ended yesterday, went “smoothly”, according to CSPD Director Marwan Qteishat.
Voicing satisfaction over the turnout, the IEC commended the role played by CSPD staff members in addition to watchdog organisations, including the civil alliance to monitor the elections (Rasid) and “We are All Jordan” commission, for their efforts to monitor and organise registration operation across the Kingdom.
The CSPD wrapped up the mission at 7:00pm, but the department will continue distributing voter IDs for those who applied within the legal time but have not yet received theirs, according to the Qteishat.
Meanwhile, the IEC yesterday formed elections committees for the country’s 45 districts. The commission delegated its powers to these committees to manage the elections in their relevant districts.
The CSPD will provide the IEC with a “preliminary” list in few days, according to Hussein Bani Hani, the commission’s spokesperson. The list will be final when a legal contesting period ends and all contests are responded to.
In a statement issued Monday by the IEC, the commission said it carefully selected members in these committees to ensure that they are qualified enough to manage the elections. The IEC included members of civil society in addition to women to widen representation in the panels.
On reports that thousands of voter identification cards are in the hands of would-be candidates, Bani Hani said such reports depend on hearsay and the IEC cannot take action unless it has substantial evidence.
By Khaled Neimat
Do you think that the upcoming elections will lead to fairer politics in Jordan or is it just going to be more of the same? And, what are your thoughts on reports that thousands of voter cards are in the hands of would-be candidates? Leave us your comments below!