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7 political parties rectified legal status for coming elections, says IEC chairman

By Rana Husseini - Feb 14,2023 - Last updated at Feb 15,2023

Image courtesy of IEC

AMMAN — Chairman of the board of commissioners of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Musa Maaytah on Tuesday said that seven political parties have rectified their legal status in preparation for the upcoming elections.

“Thirteen political parties have so far requested to rectify their status in addition to the seven that have already done so,” Maaytah told The Jordan Times.

The chairman said that the IEC has also received three requests from newly established parties.

"The three parties are currently working on collecting the necessary documents to hopefully be included in the upcoming elections," according to Maaytah.

In May 2022, the IEC ordered the 56 registered parties to rectify their legal statuses in line with the regulations stipulated in the new amendments.

The deadline for political parties to either rectify their status or for the establishment of a new party is May 14, 2023. 

Maaytah added that the IEC is touring the governorates to explain the election process for interested potential candidates and the public”.

“The IEC also established a Women’s Empowerment Unit to boost women’s presence and political participation,” the former minster added.

In 2022, the Senate and the Lower House passed   amendments to the Political Parties Law, requiring political parties to increase their shares of women and youth to at least 20 per cent within three years after their foundation.

There should be no less than 1,000 founding members of political parties, and at least 10 per cent should be women and young people between 18 and 35 years old, according to the new law. 

The law also allows university students who join political parties to engage in partisan activities on campus without any infringement on their rights, as a bylaw will be issued to regulate such activities. 

It also stipulates that a founding conference shall be held by the party within a year after meeting the requirements, where no less than a third of the party’s 1,000 founders shall attend, and who must represent at least six governorates.   

The Political Parties Law, along with the Elections Law, has been revisited by the Royal Committee to Modernise the Political System as part of its mandate to achieve the envisioned political reform.

In January, political activists told The Jordan Times that the new law will help create a “new era” of political life for Jordan, and that it constitutes a “genuine and strategic step to enhance the role of political parties in the political structure and decision-making process of the country”.

Others have been sceptical, saying that the “law was not drafted based on democratic foundations, and that it was written in a manner that would bring in new ‘leftists’ who will side with the government on many issues and replace them with the current leftists and communists”. 

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