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IEC establishes new ‘specialised unit for political parties’ — Maaytah 

By Rana Husseini - Feb 01,2023 - Last updated at Feb 01,2023

AMMAN — Chairman of the board of commissioners of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Musa Maaytah on Tuesday said that 15 political parties are expected to rectify their legal status by the end of February in preparation for the upcoming elections.

“Five political parties have so far have had requests to rectify their status approved and we expect by the end of February to have a total of 15 registered parties,” Maaytah told The Jordan Times.

In May 2022, the IEC ordered the 56 registered parties to rectify their legal status in line with the new regulations stipulated in the new amendments.

The deadline for political parties to either rectify their status or establish a new party is May 14, 2023. 

Maaytah added that the IEC has recently established a “specialised unit for political parties”.

“We are currently working on drafting regulations to support the political parties based on the voting percentage,” the former minster added.

In addition, Maaytah added that the IEC is currently working on “establishing an electoral registry to register voters’ place of residency”.

“Voters will get the chance to amend their residency location electronically via a designated website established for this purpose,” the IEC commissioner maintained.

In 2022, the Senate and the Lower House passed the 2022 amendments to the Political Parties Law, which require political parties to increase the percentage of women and youth to at least 20 per cent within three years after their foundation.

There should be no less than 1,000 founding members of political parties, and at least 10 per cent should be women and young people between 18 and 35 years old, according to the new law. 

The law also allows university students who join political parties to engage in partisan activities on campus without any infringement on their rights, as a bylaw will be issued to regulate such activities. 

It also stipulates that a founding conference shall be held by the party within a year after meeting the requirements, where no less than a third of the party’s 1,000 founders shall attend, and must represent at least six governorates.   

The Political Parties Law, along with the Elections Law, has been revisited by the Royal Committee to Modernise the Political System as part of its mandate to achieve the envisioned political reform.

In January, political activists told The Jordan Times that the new law will pave the way for a “new era” of political life for Jordan, and that it constitutes a “genuine and strategic step to enhance the role of political parties in the political structure and decision-making process of the Jordanian state”.

Others have been sceptical, saying that the “law was not drafted based on democratic foundations, and that it was written in a manner that would bring in new ‘leftists’ who will side  with the government on many issues and replace them with the current leftists and communists”.

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