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.
That’s total fun!
How do the thugs know which candidate a person is going to vote for?
Your vote should be secret.
Sitting in my office I am shocked by what’s happening outside.
Thank you for your post and I hope no one gets hurt I will ask my family members to stay home.
Drunk driver at 12 pm?!! loool
CD don 3ADI MIN IL SHIKEL balaaa mo2a5adeh bi kol da2iraa feee wa7ad mrataaab nazel ou wa7aad slaa5ii iza inta shiklaak mrataaab ou itjahalet hadool il ” thugs ” on your way to the entrance ma3natoo you are not with them ou il7aag 3a abu ta5weeef ! ya3ni law abook nazel bitsawet diddo !!!
What can I say? It’s a “Ø¹Ø±Ø³ Ø¯ÙŠÙ…ÙˆÙ‚Ø±Ø§Ø·ÙŠ”! LOL
Happily our voting location was safe and secure. Nice and orderly with families and friends politely holding out election information. And, Don, I’m with you. The fact that people here will demand to know your vote is a bit disconcerting… The idea that it’s only your business is a hard concept to get across sometimes.
Things were very peaceful and safe.
People just want to talk and talk , you draw a negative picture of the situation, but in reality it was smooth. Muslim brotherhood boycotting or not, they don’t have wide supporters as aljazeera claim.
@Salim: first of all, the various places I visited were also peaceful and safe. but that doesn’t speak for everywhere else.
second, im not drawing a negative picture of anything. im compiling the headlines of the day as it unfolded. no more no less. if you want a rosier picture turn on Jordan tv or read al rai in the morning.
third, if you think the muslim brotherhood does not have a wide base of supporters you are nuts.
fourth, many other important organizations boycotted including the veterans and the left wing to name a few.
Al jazeera,yasir helalah was saying:
1. The situation on the ground is very tensed,now keeping security and restoring peace is the government’s priority
2. Not too many people voted because the MB boycotted , they have at least 100,000 supporter in Amman alone
3. Death,riots,things going out of control,etc
Yasir Helalah and his MB and their TV channel (aljazeera) can take that! It was a success
I think that this is relatively the most successful elections that happened in years:
Dear Naseem The “Tribes” which you mentioned as if there is something wrong that represent the backbone of Jordan historically and currently… They represent the way we are there is nothing wrong with that in my opinion.
52% Vs 56% (Last time) Islamist boycotting is not significant
I think it is successful because of the number of candidates with political agendas and with the overall quality of the MP’s ….. compared with with the corrupt MPs we had last time
Mustafa Shneikat —– A socialist politician (Ex Jordanian left socialist Party)
Hazem Al 3uran ——-(Arab unity Party)
Bassam Hadadin (Socialist Party)
Jameel Alnimri (A respectful Journalist and ex member of the socialist party)
Talal Almaaytah (Baath Party)
Faisal Alfayez (Ex Prime minister)
7amad al7ajaya (a respected journalist)
Currently Preliminary results are showing
That Ghazi Musharbash (National Party) is doing better that tareq khoury
Khaled Ramadan (National liberation front) is predicted to win
Abdel kareem Kilani (Moderate islamist) vs Mamdouh Abbadi
7amad al7ajaya (a respected journalist)
For me this by far better than the previous MP’s
and Credit should be by once given to the government who managed to organise a sussecful elections
@violence – at least Jordan is becoming more politicized, eh? 😛
It is not a country , it is a farm , didn’t the king promised you all that you all will have “democracy” few years back when he was awarded the throne?
Nas, Thanks a million for this very informative post.
This post is one of the most devastated articles I read about Jordan. It is not your fault of course; you are just listing events that happened today. It is a shame to see to what extend some Jordanians can go to secure a seat in the Parliament for their candidate. If all this violence is for the sake of a seat in the Parliament imagine what would happen if the government is also elected by citizens. I am not against an elected government but from what I understood from this post is that Jordanians need to know what democracy is before they can practice it.
On another note, no doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood is the most organized party in Jordan and no doubt also that is has huge followers. But the reason that many chosen not to vote not because MB is not participating but because it seems many of the candidates have no agenda. Beside the slogans who has a solid protocol or agenda that he will follow. I think what Jordan needs is well organized political parties beside the MB. One man can change nothing, but a party can really make a difference.
I know we have other parties beside the MB but they are still very weak although some of them have been around for a long time.
@Ammar: first off, no one said anything about the tribes. i belong to one. so stop making it sound like i’m attacking anyone. as you know, that has serious repercussions in this country as the above chronicle of events indicates.
second, it is interesting to see people throw around that number like it means something. as if the islamist boycott is unimportant or insignificant. they are the most prominent, if not only, significant political opposition in this country of politicians who nod their heads in agreement. to have a parliament – a body of government where representatives are elected to represent the people – without any significant political opposition is disastrous in its own right. this is to say nothing of the fact that they do represent a significant and large demographic of people. voter turnout is absolutely no indication of that.
third, as for the quality of MPs. the exact same thing was said in the last election. and the one before that. and the one before that..and the one before that…
It all sounds very like an English election in the 1820s.
Just to clarify some stuff before I say what I have to say, I am a “christian” (as in Christian on the ID) who totally appreciates the MB boycott on the elections. Also, I work in statistics so the article below was really interesting as to how our beloved government is trying to undermine the boycotting by claiming that voter turnout was not that much different from previous elections.. With all that said, please bear with me in my mini statistics lecture:
the 52.999999999% turnout figure was calculated by averaging out the turnout figures by districts and dividing up that figure by the number of districts. All of this was done wile totally ignoring the vast difference of populations for those districts. So for example:
say district 1 had 50,000 eligible voters, out of which 10,000 voted (and thus a 20% voter turnout)
then, district 2 had 10,000 eligible voters, out of which 8,000 voted (and thus a whopping 80% turnout)
The logical way to calculate the total turnout is to calculate the percentage of those who voted (10,000+8,000) out of the TOTAL eligible voters (60,000). That would give us a voter turnout of 30%…
“7ukumatna al rashida” added up 80% plus 20% (and so on for all the districts) and divided it up by the number of districts (in the case of our example, that would give us a puffed up turnout of 50% (80+20 divided on two)
Dunno if that was a clever plot to undermine the influence which the MB has on Jordan’s population or just a dumb mistake of a wasta employee who doesn’t know s**t in his field of work.. you tell me
and that’s the statement by the National Veterans Committee I forgot to add to my previous post
Remember the JTV program “Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø¸Ø§ÙÙ‡”?
Do you know if this is a new tactic, first time to be used, or was it there before?
No clue Ahmad.. This would be my first time being involved in the Jordanian parliamentary elections.. 2007 I was studying in the US and before that I was just too young
H, can you please post the link to the turnout figures by district? i’ve only managed to find them by municipality.
not announcing all counts for losers, raises a very very serious question
the reason given”to save them the embarrassment” is insulting
I wonder what international watch groups and local NGOs can do about this.. I’m sure there is something to be done..
full elections results are now up on the ministry of interior’s website.. all we have to get now is the number of eligible voters. Anybody knows where to get those?
Nas, I actually found the post interesting as well. Having voted in a nice, calm station it would be easy to assume all were like that. In fact the GrandBeans originally went to vote at a station that ended up a significant issue (Maybe the drunk driving one, the story was muddled). Fortunately, TetaBean had forgotten her ID, so they came to vote with me (so I wouldn’t have to navigate it alone). It happened shortly after they left. I do think, though, that it would helpful to know how many polling stations there are total. My guess is that the issues were centralized at a very few, but it’s hard to know… I found the outcome very interesting.
@mommabean: someone can correct me if im wrong but i believe they were a total of 1,420..? the “issues” were not centralized in my opinion, based on the various geographic incidents across the entire country. if i had to focus it, i would say these incidents happened in very high turnout areas. most of these are the violent incidents.
there are also many incidents of voter fraud that seems to have been widespread, and by this i include everything from forged ids, to “sudden” electricity blackouts.
full results are up
Hahahaha some with zero and 1 vote 😀
they didn’t even bother go vote for themselves
Democracy?Supposed to be the majority well
this election, the very few minority (30% not 53% as calculated wrongly) is ruling the majority
boycotting the election is not smart after all 😉
Ø§Ù„Ø¯ÙˆØ§Ø¦Ø± Ø§Ù„ÙˆÙ‡Ù…ÙŠØ© ØŒ Ù…Ù‡Ø²Ù„Ø©
has any one sow the dabate between majalee and mansoor which was broadcasted on josat last week ? even though i have my own conservations about majalee, mansoor didn’t manage to answer any question regarding the party agenda for uplifting the political and social reality in jordan. i have no idea how any one with a right mind will support the MBs.