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IEC ready with awareness campaign as country braces for new elections

By JT - May 31,2016 - Last updated at May 31,2016

AMMAN — As prime minister-designate Hani Mulki continued on Monday consultations to form his government, which will prepare the stage for the upcoming parliamentary elections, the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) launched an awareness campaign mainly targeting would-be candidates to educate them on the new Elections Law, under which the polls will be conducted. 

His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday entrusted Mulki to gather a ministerial team to take over public administration ahead of the elections, which are supposed to be held in four months, the King noted in the Designation Letter to the premier-designate, citing the Constitution. 

The Lower House was dissolved as it completed its term, after Parliament passed a package of key reform-oriented laws, including the Elections Law, the Decentralisation Law and the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Law, among others. 

The IEC launched the campaign under the slogan “Jordan elects...Lower House Elections 2016” adopted “in accordance with certain standards”, the oversight body said in a statement.

 IEC President Khaled Kalaldeh said the slogan is comprehensive and the campaign is designed to boost popular participation in the upcoming elections, adding that the slogan can be used in the upcoming municipal and local councils’ elections. 

As part of the preparations, Kalaldeh said the commission has launched its new website and has plans to activate its social media accounts and use mainstream media, direct contact with audiences, videos, SMS, mobile apps and printed materials to render the campaign a success and “meet the requirements of the coming stage”. 

The IEC said following the dissolution of the House and the designation of Mulki that it was waiting for the go-ahead from His Majesty to set the date for the legislative polls.

In the Royal letter, His Majesty said the new Elections Law is a “milestone in our national reform process. Through this law, we have moved from the one-person,one-vote electoral system to a proportional system based on open lists. 

We hope that this law encourages candidates to join platform-based political blocs, removed from sub-loyalties and narrow interests, in a way that contributes to the formation of stronger parliamentary bloc structures, with specific platforms and goals in order to work under the Dome in a more mature fashion. 

This would be a qualitative leap towards realising our aspirations, particularly the endgame of our process: building and developing political parties and bringing forth parliamentary governments”.

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