Jordan - Independent Election Commission (IEC) Chief Commissioner Khalid Kalaldeh on Thursday said that two-thirds of the Jordanian voters contributed in choosing 100 new faces that will represent them in the upcoming Lower House of Parliament.
“Jordanian voters said their word on Tuesday and their ballots changed around two-thirds of the previous deputies,” Kalaldeh said during a press conference that was held by the IEC to officially announce the results.
The IEC official also said that women’s representation this year were confined to the 15-seat quota that is allocated to them by the Elections Law.
During the 2016 elections, five females won seats in direct competition in addition to the 15 seats that were allocated to them via the women’s quota.
“We need to examine and analyse the reasons behind the low turnout of women voters and the decrease in the number of female winners in this election,” Kalaldeh said.
Kalaldeh, who was addressing reporters in the presence of the IEC members said the counting process lasted until 1 AM on Thursday.
“The counting took time and we wanted to ensure that the process went in the fairest and transparent manner,” Kalaldeh said.
He also pointed out to the increase in numbers of ballot boxes compared with the 2016 Lower House of Parliament elections.
"The number of ballot boxes increased from around 4,800 to 8,061 and we also formed three specialised committees to check on the results instead of one specialised committee as was the case in the previous elections," Kalaldeh noted.
Some 1,386,749 voters from the around 4.6 million eligible voters, cast their ballots to elect 1,674 registered candidates, including 360 women.
In response to one of the reporters regarding the number of political parties candidates, Kalaldeh pointed out that there were 393 male and female candidates who were affiliated to political parties.
Kalaldeh said that there were 64 reported cases of violations that are being investigated by the judiciary, including reported videos of alleged financial irregularities.
“Our role is to refer violations to the concerned authorities, and they will do the investigations and refer the case to the judiciary,” the IEC official said.
He added that candidates who failed to win in the elections have 15 to contest the results once it is published in the Official Gazette.
"The courts will issue a decision within 30 days from the time a candidate decides to contest a result," Kalaldeh added.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh stressed that Jordan has “succeeded in implementing the Constitutional entitlement by holding the parliamentary elections in an efficient manner and under an exceptional circumstance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
“Everyone worked with one responsible nationalistic spirit to implement this important entitlement, which will further enforce the democratic experience and the parliamentary elections is one of these entitlements under the vision of His Majesty King Abdullah,” the premier said during a Cabinet meeting.
The prime minister also praised the efforts of the IEC, which managed and supervised the entire electoral process “with great efficiency and responsibility despite the exceptional circumstances imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Khasawneh also praised the “professional and efficient efforts” exerted by all the government entities as well as the Ministry of Interior and the Public Security Directorate to ensure a successful and transparent election.
Elections of the 19th Parliament were held following a Royal decree in July, directing the concerned authorities to hold parliamentary elections in accordance with the provisions of law. The Kingdom is divided into 23 constituencies.