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Number of eligible voters in upcoming elections expected to reach 5 million – IEC chairman

By Rana Husseini - Nov 29,2023 - Last updated at Nov 29,2023

AMMAN —  Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Musa Maaytah on Wednesday stressed the importance of partnership between the Commission and the media.

Maaytah, who was speaking to media representatives at the IEC’s headquarters, stressed the role of the press in raising awareness and shaping public opinion.

“This meeting is part of a series of meetings with our partners and today’s meeting with media representatives was aimed at discussing the importance of women’s participation in the political parties and the upcoming elections,” Maaytah told the press.

The IEC chairman stressed the importance of hearing from the media representatives on ways and means to boost women’s political participation both in the political parties and the upcoming elections.

“We also addressed election violence that targets women candidates and the role of the media to tackle this problem in a manner that would ensure better female participation and representation in the legislative and political bodies,” according to Maaytah. 

The former minister stated that the IEC has prepared a training manual for the media and will hold training sessions for journalists to inform them about the laws and the entire election process.

The IEC is continuing with its preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections, he said.

“We have updated the voter’s lists in cooperation with the Civil Status and Passports Department."

The minister added that the number of voters in the upcoming parliamentary elections is expected to reach five million voters, according to the latest update of the voter lists.

Maaytah also pointed out that the IEC will work to facilitate polling stations with equipment that would suit people with physical disabilities to facilitate their participation in the electoral process”.

Meanwhile, IEC member Abeer Dababneh delivered a briefing that touched on the empowerment of women in elections and parties, their exercise of their right to run and vote, and their participation in managing the electoral process at all levels.

She added that the IEC is in the process of holding meetings with the women’s committees in the Parliament, civil society institutions and members of the governorate councils. 

In 2022, the Senate and the Lower House 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 be no less than 1,000 founding members of political parties, and at least 10 per cent should be women and young people between 18 and 35 years old, according to the new law. 

The law also allows university students who join political parties to engage in partisan activities on campus without any infringement on their rights, as a bylaw will be issued to regulate such activities. 

It also stipulates that a founding conference shall be held by the party within a year after meeting the requirements, where no less than a third of the party’s 1,000 founders shall attend, and 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.

 

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