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King affirms support for election commission, urges coordination

By JT - Aug 21,2016 - Last updated at Aug 21,2016

His Majesty King Abdullah speaks at a meeting with the Independent Election Commission’s board of commissioners during a visit to the IEC headquarters in Amman on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday stressed his support for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in its efforts to administer the electoral process.

During a visit to the IEC, the King met with the commission's president, Khaled Kalaldeh, and members of its board of commissioners, calling on all of the state's institutions to support the IEC to guarantee successful elections that live up to Jordan's reputation.

His Majesty stressed the importance of cooperation and coordination among the concerned authorities and security agencies, according to a Royal Court statement.

His Majesty's visit to the IEC came after the conclusion of the candidacy registration period and the verifying of list names and slogans in accordance with the Elections Law.

Kalaldeh briefed the King on information related to the voter lists, which were verified and classified according to constituencies, and measures to simplify the process for voters, especially people with disabilities. 

The IEC chief commissioner stressed that His Majesty's visit motivates all employees at the commission to run transparent and objective elections, enabling Jordanians to "engage in dialogue" through ballot boxes.

He noted that the commission chose the holistic slogan “Jordan Elects” to enhance participation and consensus on the Elections Law, stressing that the IEC is working on improving the approach to administer the elections in the Kingdom in accordance with the principles of democracy and human rights.

Kalaldeh also outlined the IEC’s awareness campaigns which utilise various media channels, noting that some 785 billboards, 2 million posters, 6 million e-mails and 4 million text messages have been used to promote the elections. 

He also briefed the King on the commission’s capacity building programme to train employees on election administration, in addition to training civil society institutions and judges on dealing with electoral conflicts. 

The number of eligible voters for this year in the Kingdom is 4,139,730, 52 per cent of whom are women. Candidates will compete to win 130 seats, 15 of which are allocated for women.

Kalaldeh said the IEC has dealt with more than 443,000 inquiries through mobile text messages, 121,000 through the free call centre and 652,000 through its website; 99 per cent of the inquiries were answered.

For election day, September 20, 10,000 young volunteers will be available at polling stations to help voters, while there will be 74,000 official employees involved in administering the polls, the IEC president said.

The commission, in cooperation with the ministries of education and public works, has enhanced accessibility at polling stations for people with disabilities, in addition to printing the Elections Law in Braille and making sign language available at 12 centres, according to Kalaldeh.

He said the IEC will facilitate the work of local and international observers who will enhance the integrity of the polling.

 

In remarks to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, Kalaldeh noted that the commission is waiting to receive 1,484 schools from the Public Works Ministry to function as polling stations, where 4,884 ballot boxes will be placed.

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