I wanted to begin this post on an apolitical issue. Unfortunately, of all days, the Jordanian government decided that November 9th, the fifth anniversary of the Amman bombings should be dedicated to holding elections. With that in mind, I wanted to pause for a moment – perhaps even offer a digital moment of silence to honor the memory of the victims as well as their surviving families. Even if it is election day, and even if this national tragedy has been swallowed up by political theater, I would not feel right starting things off in any other way.
So I thought it might be a good idea to compile a list of interesting links and news updates as they unfold to document election day, which might be of some use to the non-Arabic speaking readers. Most of these links are in Arabic and are from online news sites which are probably doing a better job reporting the elections than any other news sources I can think of. For more live updates, follow the #JOelections hashtag on Twitter. For interesting content and more visual documentation, check 7iber. And if I get anything substantially wrong please feel free to correct me and I’ll make the appropriate edits to this post. If you have something to add to the post, leave it as a comment and I’ll try and get to it.
10:10am: Arrests of 40 people in Madaba and 10 in Jerash where fights have broken out. [source]
10:56am: Armed men block voters from getting to polls in Mafraq. More forged ID cards found in Ramtha. Oh Joy. [source]
11:09am: Amman 4th district candidate (almost) gets run over by one of his opponents thugs. Priceless. [source]
11:14am: Violence breaks out in Sakeb, Jerash leading police to close down the polls. [source]
11:23am: Supporters of one Mafraq candidate block voters of rival candidate from getting to the polls. [source]
11:37am: Supporters shoot up the car of a rival candidate in Madaba. No injuries. [source]
11:48am: Police arrest 4 men armed with AK-47s in Ma’an, one of whom is the brother of a candidate. [source]
11:57am: Drunk driver rams car into polling station. Injures two (the sons of the candidate), while police arrest total of 30 knife/axe-wielding citizens in Madaba. [source]
12:01pm: Police clash with Amman 5th district candidate who questioned the integrity of the voting process. Forged IDs found in Mafraq but Police simply banned forgers from voting. [source]
12:05pm: Balloting rate at 11%. Highest turnout in the south, lowest in Amman. As predicted. [source]
12:25pm: Fight breaks out between 3 candidates in Mafraq. Polling station committee chair gets beaten up & his cell phone stolen. [source]
12:30pm: Voter turnout at 25%. Amman still lagging behind. As predicted. [source]
12:32pm: Minister of Interior blames low Amman turnout on “pampered” residents who wake up late. Priceless. [source]
12:35pm: Darak police use tear gas in Tafieleh to break up crowds of supporters attempting to block voters of another candidate. Supporters of rival candidates in Swefieh, Amman throw rocks at one another [source]
12:48pm: Candidate Amr Zreikat attacked. Details to follow. [source]
12:51pm: National Center for Human Rights records various voting violations by the government employees with some indication of early voter fraud [source]
3:37pm: More tear gas used by police to break out violent crowds in Bayader, Amman. [source]
4:03pm: Candidate arrested for trying to steal an election box. Police uncover more forged IDs in Mafraq. [source]
4:07pm: National Veterans Committee boycotting due to flawed election law, which they blame for violence & confusion [source]
4:20pm: Police intervene to stop a fight that erupted between supporters of two candidates in Marj ilHamam, Amman. Police were attacked & cars broken [source]
4:23pm: Candidate in Ajloun taken to hospital after being beaten by supporters of a rival. [source]
4:26pm: Poll observers harassed. Banned from some stations. Widespread electronic system failures reported. Vote buying abundant outside Amman [source]
7:05pm: 25 year old dies in gunfire exchange between supporters of two rival candidates in Karak. 6 others injured. [source]
7:24pm: Voter turnout declared at 52.99% of registered voters. [source]
7:30pm: Supporters of two rival candidates clash in Abu Nseir at a polling station. Destroy public school in the process. [source]
7:40pm: Female students vote using fake ID in Ma’an. More vote buying reported. [source]
7:47pm: Clashes in South Mazar between 2 tribes. Karak governor exiles a tribe. [source]
8:00pm: Voting ends. Polls close.
A nation waits with bated breath.
10:23am: Initial results are emerging. Count the Jordanian tribe names in this list: [source]
Comment on this post. This is not intended to be neither one-sided reporting or reporting at all. This is simply a chronicle of events that happened as reported by various media sources. Peace and calm never gets reported, even though one can safely assume that that was the case in the majority of polling stations. So please do not point to this as deliberate biased reporting as some sort of attempt to make the elections “look bad”. I think these events speak for themselves, and if the average reader doesn’t get that, then that’s their problem. If we as citizens of this country don’t get that, then that’s our problem – and it’s a big one indeed.