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EU deploys election observers across Jordan as vote looms

European official praises ‘Kingdom’s commitment to transparency’; Hammad affirms gov’t readiness for elections

By Mohammad Ghazal - Sep 18,2016 - Last updated at Sep 18,2016

EU observers discuss preparations to monitor Tuesday's elections in Amman on Sunday (Photo by Nader Daoud)

AMMAN — The EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Jordan on Sunday deployed 40 short-term observers across the Kingdom ahead of Tuesday’s parliamentary vote. 

“This is the last batch of observers of the EU mission and it brings the overall number of observers to 108. Having a large delegation of EU observers is a testimony to Jordan’s commitment to transparency and that it has nothing to hide,” Deputy Chief Observer Nikolai Vulchanov told The Jordan Times.

“The short-term observers will be deployed across the governorates of Jordan, in both urban and rural areas. Together with the other EU EOM observers, they will be the eyes and the ears of the mission on election day during polling, counting and tabulation of results,” said Vulchanov.

Prior to their deployment, the short-term observers received a two-day in-depth briefing in Amman on the electoral background, voting procedures, the political environment and other topics.

They will join a delegation of European parliamentarians and EU diplomats to observe the vote. 

In total, 108 observers from all 28 EU member states as well as Norway, Switzerland and Canada will be deployed by the EU EOM on Tuesday, led by Jo Leinen, a member of the European Parliament from Germany.

“The EU EOM observers will be visiting many polling stations from the opening to the closing of the polls,” said Vulchanov, stressing that the EU EOM is independent, neutral and will not interfere in the electoral process.

“The EU EOM’s analysis includes aspects such as the legal framework, the work of the election administration, the campaign activities of the candidates and political parties, the conduct of the media, the voting, counting and tabulation of results and their announcement by the IEC, and the resolution of election related disputes,” he explained. 

The EU EOM will issue a preliminary statement on its findings on Thursday. A final report — with recommendations for future elections — will be published within two months of the completion of the electoral process.

Anne Sofie Gerhard, one of the mission’s observers from Denmark, said she is in the Kingdom to “support the democratic process”.

“Our mission is to assist with the observation of this democratic process on elections day… Having observers from several EU countries shows Jordan’s openness,” Gerhard, who will observe several polling stations in Amman, told The Jordan Times.

Also on Sunday, Interior Minister Salameh Hammad met with the EU observers and stressed that the government is committed to supporting the Independent Election Commission to ensure its success, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The government, he added, will take the necessary measures to ensure that the elections will be free, fair and transparent as part of the Kingdom’s reform process.


Hammad noted that the ministry’s role is strictly limited to providing logistic support for the IEC and maintaining security before, during and after the vote, Petra reported.

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