Jordanian Election Laws and their Impact on Political* Reform (1989 - 2010)
مجلة دراسات إقلیمیة,
2012, السنة 9, العدد 28, الصفحة 225-277
الملخصThis paper is meant to shed light on the Jordanian election laws and their impact on the political reformation process from 1989 up to the present time. By so doing, an attempt has been made to thoroughly review the most salient election laws issued during this period with special emphasis on their positive as well as negative aspects which, in turn, have affected the political reformation process in Jordan. Results show that the seven laws issued during this phase included numerous positive aspects, which participated in the fulfillment of a real political reformation process. Among others, such positive aspects include the increase of the number of representatives (from 80-120), increase of the number of women quota seats, and decrease the age of the voters to 18 (instead of 19 years old), the reliance on the ID cards issued by the Civil Status Department instead of the election cards previously used. It has been apparent that the decrease of the elector’s age enabled more young people to participate in the election process. Furthermore, the use of the ID card has also made it easy for voters to participate in the election processes.
Results have also shown a number of negative aspects, which can be summarized as follows. First, the one-man-one-vote system, which is still in effect, replaced the broad national choices by narrow regional, tribal and sects’ loyalties. Second, the seats of the Lower House are distributed based on governorates and geographical areas instead of the number of population, a feature that has consistently led to an apparent imbalance in the real representation of the population. A number of recommendations have been proposed by the researchers emphasizing the constitutionality, legality and legitimacy of the election laws, which, in turn, have led to the systemization and development of the political reformation process in Jordan.
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