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IEC detects 165 violations prior to parliamentary elections

30 cases related to financial irregularities, says IEC spokesperson

By Rana Husseini - Sep 21,2020 - Last updated at Sep 21,2020

AMMAN — The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Monday said it had found 165 violations committed by individuals who plan to run for the upcoming parliamentary elections slated for November 10.

"Since the announcement of the elections, the IEC has dealt with 165 violations, including 30 incidents related to financial irregularities, or what is termed as 'black money'," IEC Spokesperson Jihad Momani told The Jordan Times.

The financial irregularities, according to Momani, are practised mostly "by individuals planning to run in the elections who use money to buy votes".

"We have detected several incidents whereby some individuals are using social media or Facebook to publicise their intention to allegedly pay money in return for votes," Momani said.

As a result, the IEC official added, four individuals were referred to the prosecutor's office for questioning and indictment and two other individuals are currently being questioned.

"We have also sent the concerned authorities some photos and videos that we detected, or ones that were sent for further examination and authentication by the officials and experts," Momani noted. 

The IEC had announced 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. 

The Elections 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.

Under the proportional electoral system, winning lists will be allocated seats according to the percentage of votes they had received. The seats will be distributed to the members with the most votes.

Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Musa Maaytah has stressed, on several occasions, the government’s commitment to "secure the success of the upcoming parliamentary elections" by involving all citizens in the election process.

“We would like to emphasise that Parliament is the most important Constitutional body, whose role is to monitor the government’s performance and draft laws,” Maaytah had told The Jordan Times.

The IEC recently stressed that parliamentary elections will be held on time and all efforts are exerted to ensure the success of “this important democratic process in the smoothest and most transparent manner, while ensuring health safety and security of the citizens".

Some of the procedures adopted, according to the IEC, included ensuring that voters will register based on their residency rather than where their family was residing so that voters will be able to cast their ballots at the nearest polling station of their residency.

The IEC has also studied all scenarios related to the COVID-19 crisis and has adopted all the necessary health procedures that would ensure the safety of voters, candidates along with the officials and others who will be working at the polling stations.

The measures include testing all the officials and other individuals who will be stationed at the polling centres for COVID-19 ahead of the elections to ensure that no one is tested positive for the coronavirus, as well as, distributing pens to each voter for health and safety purposes.

The commission assigned October 6, 7, and 8 as the designated dates for individuals to officially register to run for the elections.

The IEC recently announced that accreditation for international agencies to monitor the November elections will be open between August 16 and October 20.

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