AMMAN — The Senate on Sunday passed the 2012 draft elections law as amended by deputies, approving a mixed electoral system that features a majority vote at the governorate level and a closed proportional list at the national level.
Having been endorsed by the two Houses of Parliament, the draft law will now be forwarded to His Majesty King Abdullah and then published in the Official Gazette.
With the endorsement of the 72-article legislation, all laws governing the political reform process have been completed, paving the way for national polls expected before the end of the year.
The other components of the package include the Municipalities Law, the Independent Elections Commission Law, the Political Parties Law and the Constitutional Court Law, all of which have gone through the necessary constitutional channels and are now in place.
Under Article 8 of the draft elections law, which was approved by MPs last week, each voter will be given two votes: one for a candidate at the district level and another for a closed proportional list that will compete for 17 seats at the national level.
As approved by MPs and senators, the number of Lower House seats at the governorate level will stand at 108, which will be contested in 45 constituencies in the Kingdom’s 12 governorates and the three badia regions.
Of the 140 seats, 15 will be allocated in the next Chamber of Deputies for the women’s quota as stipulated in Paragraph C of Article 8 of the bill.
Under Article 4 of the draft elections law, voting identification cards will be issued to eligible voters. The IDs will be used together with civil identification cards and electoral lists to verify a voter’s identity.
A woman candidate that gains the highest percentage of votes in the district will be announced as winner under the women’s quota as stipulated in Paragraph A of Article 51 of the legislation.
Also under Paragraph B of the said article, a revote will be conducted to determine the winner out of two women candidates with the same percentage of votes.