Upon the invitation of the Jordanian authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to observe the Parliamentary Elections scheduled for 20 September 2016. This will be the second time that the European Union observes elections in Jordan – the previous mission took place in 2013 – which reflects the EU's sustained commitment to support credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country. In line with the established EU methodology, the EOM will provide an informed and impartial analysis of the whole electoral process.
The mission is led by Chief Observer Jo LEINEN, a member of the European Parliament from Germany. While not interfering in any way in the electoral process, the EU EOM will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process in accordance with applicable international standards for democratic elections. All observers abide by Jordanian law, too.
Election observation is a tool used in the context of EU’s wider policy of support for democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Together with other international observation groups, the EU EOMs seek to make a positive contribution without interfering in the conduct of an election. It’s only the people of the host country who can ultimately determine the credibility and the legitimacy of an election process.
Between 2000 and 2015, the EU has deployed EOMs and EATs (Election Assessment Teams) in 65 countries around the globe. The main objectives of the election observation are:
- strengthen respect for fundamental freedom and civil and political rights;
- further enhance public confidence in the electoral and democratic processes, including deterring possible fraud;
- contribute, where relevant, toward the prevention or resolution of conflicts.
The EU EOM conducts a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process based on long-term observation and on a consistent methodology that has been developed throughout the years. Through its presence in a given country, an EU EOM pursues the following key objectives:
- political context;
- legal framework (including electoral system);
- performance of the election administration;
- role of the public institutions;
- voter registration;
- party and candidate registration;
- election campaign;
- respect for fundamental freedoms, civil and political rights;
- participation of women, minorities and persons with disabilities;
- conduct of the media;
- role of civil society;
- voting, counting and tabulation;
- complaints and appeals process;
- announcement of the results and the post-election environment.
The assessment of the EU EOM is undertaken through:
- direct observation of electoral events by EU observers;
- analysis of information obtained from relevant documents;
- meetings with a broad range of national and regional stakeholders.
Observers throughout Jordan
For this comprehensive analysis, a Core Team of nine election experts arrived to Amman on 13 August, to follow and analyse the entire election process.
In order to observe the electoral process throughout the country, the EU EOM deploys 26 long-term observers (LTOs) across Jordan. The LTOs have arrived to Jordan one month before election day.
Shortly before election day, the LTO teams are reinforced by 40 short-term observers (STOs) who join them to observe election-day activities at the polling stations. LTOs and STOs will also be joined by representatives of the EU Member States Embassies, as well as a delegation from the European Parliament, bringing the total number of EU EOM observers to 100.
The EU observer team comprises of experts and observers from all 28 EU Member States, as well as from Swiss and Norway. The observers come from a variety of backgrounds and they are trained in the different aspects of election observation.
The EU EOM Jordan 2016 operates in accordance with the “Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation” adopted at the United Nations in 2005 by a number of international bodies involved in election observation. EU Observers adhere to a “Code of Conduct for EU Election Observers” that says they must maintain strict impartiality and neutrality.
On Election Day, each team of EU observers visits a number of different polling stations. This list of polling stations visited attempts to include a proportional ratio of urban to rural population and takes into account the presence of minority groups. To ensure the consistency of election day observation, EU observer teams use standard reporting forms.
An EU EOM is independent in its findings and conclusions, which are based on a standard methodology. Although there is close cooperation with the EU institutions and Member States, the EU EOM operates under a separate and distinct mandate from any other of these.
EU observers do not interfere in the electoral process. Where problems are observed, the EU EOM may bring them to the attention of electoral authorities but does not intervene to correct or otherwise directly influence the proceedings.
The EU EOMs reports on the honesty, accuracy, transparency and timely delivery of election results only, not on the political outcome of the results. But in its final report, all the EU EOM to Jordan will offer recommendations for improving the integrity and effectiveness of future electoral processes and the wider process of democratisation.
Findings of the Mission
A Preliminary Statement on the findings of the mission is issued within 48 hours after Election Day. This statement, presented by the Chief Observer in a press conference in Amman, outlines the EU EOM’s initial assessment prior to the completion of the electoral process.
A comprehensive Final Report, with recommendations for future elections, will be published within two months of the completion of the process.