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King urges easy voting process as countdown starts for twin local polls

By JT - Aug 02,2017 - Last updated at Aug 02,2017

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday stressed the importance of easing procedures of polling during the upcoming local elections, slated for August 15, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

 During a meeting with the president and members of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) at Al Husseiniya Palace, His Majesty commended the commission's efforts in preparing for the twin elections of municipal and governorates councils.

He highlighted the need to intensify efforts to raise awareness about the governorates councils’ "decentralisation", which grants these bodies broad authorities and empowers citizens to play a greater role in policymaking regarding development priorities in their areas.

For his part, IEC Chief Commissioner Khaled Kalaldeh outlined the commission's preparations to hold the elections, such as training cadres, electronic connectivity among polling centres and  cyber security, while working on simplifying the procedures of the voting process, especially for people with disabilities.

Klalaldeh noted the IEC's measures to raise awareness and encourage participation using various media means.

The final number of candidates of municipal and governorates councils reached 6,623 at the end of the withdrawal period on Tuesday.

According to IEC figures, the number of candidates running for mayorship stands at 538, for municipal and local councils 4,701 and for membership of governorate councils 1,239.

Under the Decentralisation Law, the country is divided into 158 districts, with the distribution of the total number of 303 representatives varying according to area and population, in addition to a 10 per cent (32 seats) quota for women who do not make it through direct election.

In addition to the 335 winners, an additional 15 per cent will be assigned by the Cabinet, raising the overall number of governorate council members to 380, with one-third of the additional 15 per cent required to be women.

Jordan is divided into 100 municipalities in addition to the Greater Amman Municipality. The municipalities are of two types: 18 municipalities that have no local councils (in sub-districts under the jurisdiction of the concerned municipality), and 82 municipalities with which a total of 355 local councils are affiliated, with each council made up of five members, including at least one woman.

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