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4,820 hopefuls register for local elections — IEC

16 candidates win by acclamation in municipalities, says official source

By Rana Husseini - Feb 09,2022 - Last updated at Feb 09,2022

AMMAN — The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Wednesday said the final count of individuals wishing to run for the governorate and municipal elections was 4,820.

“Out of the total number of registered candidates, 867 were women,” chairman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Khaled Al Kalaldeh said in a statement that was issued to the press.

The IEC will examine all the applications within the next seven days and “in the event that a candidate’s application was rejected, he/she will be notified, and the reasons will be explained”, according to Kalaldeh.

Meanwhile, an official source who preferred not to be identified told The Jordan Times that 16 individuals have won seats by acclamation in the municipalities, including one who won a presidency seat in Sultani Municipality, 80-kilometres south of Amman.

“We have 16 who won seats in the municipalities by acclamation, and they will be officially notified once their applications are examined and they meet all the criteria required for the elections,” the official source said.

IEC Spokesperson Mohammad Rawashdeh told The Jordan Times that the 4,820 candidates will be competing for 1,135 seats in total.

The candidates and seats are distributed as follows according to Rawashdeh: 572 candidates competing for 100 city council presidency seats; 3,089 candidates competing for city council membership seats; 1,048 candidates will be competing for 289 governorate membership seats, while 111 registered to compete for 28 seats at the Greater Amman Municipality.

Rawashdeh also pointed out that none of the 867 women who registered to compete in the elections applied for city council president seats.

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

However, Rawashdeh added that 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”.

Meanwhile, the IEC spokesperson said that nine election violations related to the alleged "use of money to influence voters were reported during the three-day registration period".

“Five cases were investigated and closed and there are four others that are currently being investigated by a special IEC committee,” Rawashdeh stated.

He added that “there were 44 reported violations related to election campaigns such as starting the campaigns early by using posters or through the media”.

The committee is also examining these violations and if any violations are found, the appropriate measures will be adopted based on each case, the IEC official added.

“Our ultimate aim is to ensure that we have fair and transparent elections,” Rawashdeh stressed.

Rawashdeh told The Jordan Times in a recent interview that the elections are scheduled for March 22, “unless the health situation related to COVID-19 would entail shifting the election date”.

The IEC also issued health instructions related to the candidates’ headquarters, according to Rawashdeh.

“We issued instructions, including obliging the candidates to sign a pledge that they will abide by health requirements at their campaign headquarters to combat the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of people,” the IEC spokesperson said.

Some 4,602,135 people, including 2,437,340 women, are eligible to vote in the upcoming elections.

“There will be 1,845 polling stations that contain 6,907 ballot boxes for the time being. The number could decrease, or increase based on any future needs,” Rawashdeh added.

Citizens wishing to cast their ballots should send a message to 94455 to get information on their polling stations, according to Rawashdeh.

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

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

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