What of the Newborn?

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Tue 20 September / Sep 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

Until the late hours of the Election day, the notes cited were most recurrent and technical; internet coverage problems were reported by voters inside the polling centres, and some boxes were opened less than half an hour late, and other complains on some monitoring parties, personnel, and journalists, denied access to the stations.

As for incidents classified as violations that may compromise the integrity of the elections, these were mainly conducted by candidates and their supporters, not by officials involved in the administration of the electoral process itself. For instance, some people attempted to disrupt the process in a number of centres, while others tried to smuggle ballot cards, spread fabricated information on the ongoings of the process, as others went as far as to fire up guns and weapons to scare voters away, in addition to some fights and quarrels among constituents and supports themselves.

Generally speaking, the operation went smoothly until the later hours of yesterday evening, and it is not unlikely that more violations should occur outside the polling stations during the last hours of the polls, right before the ballot boxes close. And it probable that votes purchase may be outspokenly conducted by some candidates; to ensure the integrity of the electoral process, we are hoping that concerned and respective authorities address this phenom strictly, as it would not make any sense to see no body in custody, in light of piling complaints and reports on their being several vote purchases done openly near polling stations.

All in all, two main factors contributed to the retention of the operation’s transparency. The first is the placement of unprecedented procedures by the Independent Elections Commission (IEC), and the full disclosure of all phases of the process to the public, coupled with the establishment of technical and technological instruments that prevented interference and manipulation in the process.

The second factor is the readiness of a wide network of Jordanian and foreign monitors, counting more than 5 thousand, next to hundreds of local and international journalists and media people. And since early Tuesday, they were spanned across the circuits and electoral districts of the Kingdom, ready to note down every single detail; in less than 2 hours into the elections, “Rasid” —a monitory body, held a press conference to comment on the ongoings of the process, highlighting a limited variety of notes that for the most part were technical and had nothing to do with the electoral process itself.

Prior to that, the general feeling among politicians and informed sources was that the state had already made a decision to not interfere, the way it did in the last elections.

Evidently, this reflects clearly in the work of the IEC, who confirm that no official party did, or even attempted to interfere in the Commission’s work. And during the King’s visit to the Independent Commission, just weeks ago, the Board of Commissionaires were granted His Majesty’s full official support to conduct an utterly transparent and credible elections.

The citizenry’s interest will focus today on the outcomes, which may be available for most circuits by the early hours of the day. But the unfoldings of Tuesday’s long electoral day, will not be far behind; every detail will be audited and reviewed, as it is vitally critical to the final outcomes of the elections.

In other words, the happening of the “Great Tuesday” will be definitive to a large extent of the new House of Representative’s image, its legitimacy in the eyes of the public, who hope to see a House with the capacity to face up to Jordan’s current and upcoming challenges, as well as aspirations.

Do we hurriedly say that the “operation” is successful? It seems so. However; what of the newborn? The New House of Representatives?