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Political parties hustle to comply with new partisanship law

By Rana Husseini - Nov 10,2022 - Last updated at Nov 10,2022

AMMAN — The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Thursday said seven political parties have submitted requests to merge into three entities.

“We have three parties who asked to merge into one, while four other parties asked to merge into two,” according to IEC Spokesperson Mohammad Rawashdeh.

On May 15 of this year, the IEC ordered the 56 registered parties to rectify their legal statuses in line with the new regulations stipulated in the new amendments, Rawashdeh said.

“We are currently examining their requests, and the IEC will either accept their applications or ask them for additional papers that would help them in rectifying their situation,” Rawashdeh told The Jordan Times.

The deadline for political parties to either rectify their situations or establish a new party is May 14, 2023, the IEC official stated. 

Earlier this year, the Senate and the Parliament passed the 2022 amendments to the Political Parties Law, which require political parties to increase the percentage of women and youth to at least 20 per cent within three years after their foundation.

There should not be less than 1,000 founding members of political parties, according to the new law, at least 10 per cent of which should be women and young people between 18 and 35 years old. 

The law also allows university students who join political parties to engage in partisan activities within the campuses of their higher education institutions without any infringement on their rights, as a bylaw will be issued to regulate such activities. 

The law also stipulates that a foundation conference shall be held by the party within a year after meeting the requirements, with the attendance of no less than a third of the party’s 1,000 founders, 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 pave the way for a “new era” in 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 Jordanian state”.

Others were 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 go along with the government on many issues and replace them with the current leftists and communists”.

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