Above the Law… Under the Law

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Wed 16 August / Aug 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

In the overall, these elections, last Tuesday, were successful, in the general scheme of things.

No major breaches or violations, nor valid complaints, particularly in regards to government interference, whether for or against any of the candidates.

Of course, this gave these Municipality and Decentralised Elections considerable credibility and integrity. An achievement to be celebrated by the state and the government, and above all, the Independent Elections Commission (IEC).

The IEC worked hard to arrive at a clean, credible elections, to erase the remanence of past failures, which have tarnished the reputation of the elections.

Only recently have we begun to shake off the taints of previous audacities.

The Civil Society was significantly present in the monitory parts of the electoral process. But the most important testament was that of the opposition

Jordan’s largest opposition party, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), issued a statement praising the IEC’s credibility and hard, unbiased work.

They scored 41 municipal seats, five of those in Amman, three mayor positions, including Zarqa, 25 decentralised and local council seats, and 11 women of the IAF’s candidates.

These results are good, in general, and they confirm that the IAF still has the capacity to aggregate a proponent populace and influence the public, to a lesser extent, however, than before.

Given the splintering, though, and crises, the party has endured, alongside the Muslim Brotherhood, over these last few years, their electoral performance is somewhat impressive.

One issue, nonetheless, is worth pondering at.

It isn’t the IEC’s rightly disclosure of the breaches and infringements in the Central Badia, as is expected of them, which are shocking, but the fact that they have happened not long ago.

Sadly, it is the political, legal, and security failure to prevent the reoccurrence of the same event, which took place last year, in the same district, during the Representative Elections.

Naturally, because the crime went once unpunished, it is bound to happen again.

Last year, the same infringements took place; the same assaults against the state and its constitutional bodies, went unanswered for, as the government turned the other cheek.

This, subsequently, reinforced the feeling among so many that the law is absent there, and that they can do as they please.

If anything, it supported the idea that there are those above the law, and those under the law.

Those above it, will dare undermine it, and with it, the entirety of the state’s authority and credibility.

We agree with the state, in that we do not want the events in one small district to cast its shadow over the entire electoral process, which went really well, Muwaqqar aside. But we cannot just turn a blind eye to what happened there.

These most unfortunate events carry significant political and legal consequences, as well as symbolic.

It is dangerous to just simply allow for some to make themselves seem above the low. And in the absence of a decisive, strong response, the snowball is going to roll, sooner or later.

Soon enough, such behaviours will replicate themselves in other areas and governorates.

The fathomable was that this was allowed to happen again, there, where it has happened before.

But the more catastrophic error was letting it pass without giving everyone a hard lesson.

These are the instances which require of the state a more ruthless approach, not suppressing the pacifist opposition.

As crucial as the positive result are, there are equally crucial indicators to the transformation in the nature of domestic threats and challenges here, in the Muwaqqar incidents.

The existence of an opposition party is no longer the significant threat.

In fact, this “threat” of a party can actually support the state’s credibility and drive up the turnout rates for the upcoming elections. They may very well help the state integrate a greater lot of the public in the political and electoral mechanism.

The more dangerous threat is vandalism, violence, insolence, and undermining the state.

Such are the incidents which shake the very ground beneath the rule and state of law. So much peril lies in the belly of this beastly transformation of society, regardless how marginal.

What will the state do in the face of these political, social, and economic shifts, which underlie this phenomenon?

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.