NCHR Statement on Monitoring the Complementary Elections of Amman First District, and Al Karak Fourth District
19 Nov, 2013
In pursuance of the core values enshrined in its Law, notably, to promote the democratization process as a key biller for an integrated and harmonized model based on the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, pluralism and the rule of law, the (JNCHR) formed an Election Observation Team, to enhance public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process and to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to secure the fair and free elections. The Election Observation Team which was composed of (32) observers, were deployed at al - Amman First District, and Al Karak Fourth District to observe the various phases of the electoral process for the first constituency in Amman and the fourth constituency in al Karak, starting from observing the pre-election period and the voting and the counting process, which commenced at 7, 00Am on the 9th of November, 2013. In this respect, it is to be noted that the number of voters in the Amman First District was 129065 distributed among 33 voting stations that compromised 204 ballot boxes. Meanwhile, the number of voters al Karak Fourth District was 19233 distributed among 21 voting stations that compromised 37 ballot boxes.
:The Election Observation Team Preliminarily Findings
- Polling stations observed opened on time.
- Low voter turnout in Amman during the first hours.
- In general, the procedures of the Complementarity Elections, overseen by the JIEC were running smoothly. The Election Observation Team noted with appreciation that the majority of the committee were compliance to the rules and regulations issued by the JIEC and the presence of security personnel.
- In both constituencies, no major irregularities or malpractices were reported that would undermine the credibility and the integrity of the electoral process.
- Most of the polling stations were not adequately equipped to receive the voters with disabilities and the elderly. They were not accessible as the voting was conducted in the second flour of the polling facilities. This shortcoming was reported during the Parliamentary Elections that were held on 23 Jan, 2013.
- Campaigning moratorium was not respected in the first constituency. The campaign activities and campaign materials were observed in the vicinity of the polling stations of the first constituency. Notably, supporters of some of the candidates were wearing ribbons that display the candidate’s campaign and disseminated information materials about their candidates. Furthermore, the Team noted that the children were involved in these malpractices in violation of the national legislations and the internationally established human rights norms and principles.
- Some of the heads of the voting committees stated that they were instructed by the Jordanian Independent Election Commission (JIEC) as to not supply the observers with the number of ballots cast in each box. Instead they can obtain such data from the designated JIEC liaison office”. This would eventually compromise the transparency and integrity of the entire process.
- The Election Observation Team noted that some voters (did not specify their numbers) ,upon their exist from the voting facility, they gave the agents of one of the candidates a card that displays the voter’s name, the voting station, the number of the ballot box, and the voter serial numbers as shown in the voters lists. These incidents could be interpreted as deliberate actions to assure that those voters have cast their votes for a their candidate. In principle, these incidents affect the citizens’ right to vote, and would indicate the voters numbers cast in each ballot box in a bid to determine the voting percentage in favor of their candidate.
In general, the JNCHR Observation Team affirms that the elections until the afternoon of the Election Day were running smoothly and in accordance with the international standards on the conduct of democratic elections