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Local polls witness 29.64% voter turnout — IEC

Ajloun sees highest voter turnout, Amman falls far behind

By Rana Husseini - Mar 22,2022 - Last updated at Mar 22,2022

A Jordanian man casts his ballot during the governorate and municipal council elections at a polling station in Amman on Tuesday (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Tuesday said that the percentage of voter turnout in the governorate and municipal council elections was 29.64.

A total of 1,363,465 citizens cast their ballots, with 15.56 per cent male voters and 14.08 per cent female voters, according to the IEC.

The total number of eligible voters was 4,602,135, including 2,437,340 women.

The final official number of individuals registered to run for the elections is 4,644, including 846 women.

The highest voter turnout was recorded in Ajloun with 62.57 per cent, while the lowest was in Amman with 14.75 per cent, the IEC stated.

The percentage in the remaining governorates was as follows: Mafraq (61.08), Jerash (59.45), Maan (59.35), Karak (56.36), Tafileh (54.33), Madaba (45.92), Irbid (40.61), Balqa (37.12), Aqaba (33.21) and Zarqa (16.96).

Chairman of the IEC Khaled Al Kalaldeh said in a press conference that vote counting will be conducted in three phases.

“First, the count will be for the city council presidency seat, one for the city council membership seat and one for the governorate seat,” Kalaldeh said.

The IEC detected 12 alleged cyber violations related to the elections and the cases were referred to the Cyber Crimes Unit.

In addition, Kalaldeh said that seven cases were referred “to the criminal prosecutor for alleged violations of ballot secrecy and over 15 cases of alleged financial electoral fraud”.

Kalaldeh also said that the IEC received 297 complaints and comments related to the election process.

Meanwhile, the IEC chairman said that women will have a 25 per cent quota as well as the opportunity to win in direct competition.

In the event that the number of registered female candidates was not enough to fill the seats that are designated by the quota based on the distribution registration list, then the Local Administration minister can appoint a woman he/she chose from the eligible voters, Kalaldeh said.

IEC officials said earlier this week that some 5,000 individuals, including 100 international persons, would be monitoring the elections.

The Public Security Directorate (PSD) dispatched over 55,000 personnel to monitor 1,850 polling stations, which contained 6,937 ballot boxes.

PSD Spokesperson Lt. Col. Amer Sartawi said that 65 people were arrested in connection with alleged violations related to the election process.

“The violations were mainly related to possessing firearms, attempting illegal entry to polling stations and possessing fake badges,” Sartawi told The Jordan Times.

The police official said that the suspects were referred to the concerned authorities for further questioning. 

The PSD official added that some individuals “attempted to spread rumours and false news that there were riots in certain polling stations, but this is totally fake news”.

“We will prosecute those who spread these unfounded rumours and allegations,” Sartawi said.

The IEC announced recently that 13.3 million ballot papers were printed with security marks for the upcoming elections with three colours: One for the city council presidency seat, one for the city council membership seat and one for the governorate seat.

The Cabinet had decided to hold governorate and municipal council elections last November. 

The Cabinet also approved the Amman Municipal Council Election Law and electoral appeals for 2021.

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