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EU mission launched to observe elections

By Hani Hazaimeh - Dec 20,2012 - Last updated at Dec 20,2012

AMMAN — The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) was officially launched on Thursday to observe the January 23 parliamentary elections with participation of observers from 27 EU states, in addition to Norway and Switzerland.

Chief observer David Martin, a member of the European Parliament from the UK, made the announcement at a press conference in Amman. 

Martin noted that the EU has signed memoranda of understanding with the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) and the Foreign Ministry that guarantees freedom of movement for all EU EOM members and access to all polling stations and all relevant information.

“This mission is independent from any EU institutions or member states and is obliged to remain neutral and abide by the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct  [for International Election Observers], as well as laws of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” Martin told reporters.

“It is a privilege to lead the first European Union Election Observation Mission to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” he added.

“I hope this election will contribute to Jordan’s democratic development. We encourage all actors in the electoral process as well as citizens to join their efforts for the elections to be conducted in a genuine, transparent and credible manner,” he said. 

Martin added that the EU EOM will be the largest long-term international observation mission in all 12 governorates to observe the electoral process before, during and after the elections.

He added that their mission will also include meetings with government and election officials, candidates and representatives from political parties, civil society and the media, highlighting that on election day the EU EOM will deploy over 80 observers to monitor polling, counting and tabulation of results.

“The EU EOM will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process based on a long-term observation and a methodology developed over many years,” Martin noted. 

“This analysis will include 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 and the counting, the complaints and appeals process and the announcement of the results. 

“It will also assess compliance with domestic and international laws as well as regional commitments to elections,” the observer explained.

He underlined that the EU EOM will be joined by a delegation of the European Parliament for the election day, stressing that the mission will issue a preliminary statement shortly after the elections. 

A final report — with technical recommendations for future elections — will be published nearly two months after the elections.

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