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IEC urges electoral lists to open joint bank accounts

By Rana Husseini - Oct 14,2020 - Last updated at Oct 14,2020

AMMAN — The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has called on electoral lists to open bank accounts in their names in preparation for the upcoming elections to the Lower House scheduled for November.

“The IEC has asked all the election lists to open joint bank accounts as stipulated in the regulations,” said IEC Spokesperson Jihad Momani.

According to the IEC website, there are 295 lists registered, including nine that were denied registry until the candidates would abide by the regulations stipulated by the commission.

Some of the issues were related to candidates who did not resign from their current jobs, while others chose names that were against the regulations, according to Momani.

“We had one list that included the name ‘God’ and this is against the regulations since the posters and pamphlets might be subjected to abuse or might fall on the ground and people would end up stepping on them,” Momani said.

So far, 1,717 candidates announced their participation in the elections, including 368 women, according to the IEC website.

The IEC had announced in July that elections for the 19th Parliament would be held on November 10, following a Royal decree in July directing the concerned authorities to hold parliamentary elections in accordance with the provisions of law. The Kingdom is divided into 23 constituencies.

His Majesty King Abdullah ordered the dissolution of Parliament last month, opening the door for the upcoming elections.

Article 9 in the 2016 Elections Law stipulated that voting is based on the open proportional list at the district level.

The law stipulates that each list should include no fewer than three candidates and no more than the number of seats allocated for the constituency in which the list is competing.

Momani had told The Jordan Times in a recent interview that the dissolution of the Lower House of Parliament “gives us the power to change the date if we feel it is necessary”.

“In the event the COVID-19 pandemic spreads more in the Kingdom, then we would think of changing the date of the elections,” the IEC spokesperson noted.

“We only have the authority to change the date of the election,” Momani said.

He added that “cancelling the elections is a decision that could only be taken by His Majesty King Abdullah”.

The Kingdom has been witnessing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks with some days witnessing over 1,000 reported cases.

The IEC recently stressed that it would exert its “utmost efforts to ensure the success of this important democratic process in the smoothest and most transparent manner, while ensuring the health, safety and security of citizens”.

In mid-September, King Abdullah stressed the importance of taking all measures and precautions to safeguard public health and wellbeing during the upcoming electoral process.

At a teleconference meeting with the president and members of the IEC, King Abdullah emphasised the need for teamwork and coordination among all state institutions to guarantee the elections’ success, according to a Royal Court statement.

His Majesty said the parliamentary elections are taking place during extraordinary circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting the magnitude of the responsibility shared by all.

The King expressed support for the IEC and confidence in its ability to administer the electoral process with the highest levels of integrity and transparency, commending measures taken by the commission to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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