Technically well-administered elections despite serious deficiencies in the legal framework (25/01/2013)

AMMAN, 25 January 2013 -­‐ “Transparent and credible” assessed David Martin, Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) today the Parliamentary Election in the presentation of the EU EOMs Preliminary Statement. The Chief Observer commended the Independent Election Commission for its successful implementation of the electoral process as a whole. The Chief Observer criticised however the legal framework as “deficient and not providing adequately for equality of votes”.

“Polling, counting and tabulation of results in the 23 January Parliamentary Election were despite minor glitches well administered. Election day was calm and peaceful despite sporadic local violent incidences”, said the Chief Observer during the EU EOM press conference. Adding: “Our 80 observers, deployed in all twelve governorates, reported that procedures were mostly followed. The process was however tainted by illegal campaigning outside polling centers which had no severe impact.

The Chief Observer highlighted “the significant efforts by the newly established Independent Election Commission to accomplish its tasks transparent and impartial. Technical preparations were effective and within the operational and legal deadlines”. Martin added: “The Commission undertook major efforts to overcome the deficiencies and loopholes in the Election Law by issuing a large number of Executive Instructions regulating and interpreting aspects of the electoral process usually regulated in the law.”

“Although the newly adopted Election Law is an improvement – especially with the introduction of an independent election management body – this law should be seen only as a start for further legal reform”, said the Chief Observer. “The Law complies in general with international and regional obligations and commitments pledged by The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Substantial deficiencies in the election law affect however universality of voter participation and equality of votes”, said the Chief Observer.

The Preliminary Statement will be followed by a Final Report; to be presented to the public at a later stage.

Note to Editors:
The European Union has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Independent Election Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, guaranteeing freedom of movement to all EU EOM members and access to all polling stations and related sites and bodies and to all relevant information. This Mission is independent from any EU institutions or Member States and is obliged to remain neutral and abide by the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct, as well as laws of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.