Feb. 1, 2013, 9:48 p.m.
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) has released a preliminary statement from its observations of the Jordanian parliamentary election on January 23, 2013. The mission involved 50 observers from 29 countries, and delegates included NDI regional director for the Middle East and North Africa Leslie Campbell, former Bolivian president Jorge Quiroga, and Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission. The mission’s findings suggest that the election highly benefited from the role of Jordan's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which was both responsive and professional. Additionally, polling station staff were perceived to be well-trained and competent, and delegates noted a variety of technical improvements in the election process. However, findings also show that Jordan’s political process remains systematically skewed in favor of King Abdullah's rule. The new electoral law implemented in July 2012 resulted in limited gains in political representation for political parties in parliament, and the system of electoral delimitation continues to favor tribal strongholds and political loyalties along the lines of clan, tribe, and religion. The full statement and its recommendations can be read here.