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Jordan: preparations for professional association elections

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The election activity in Jordan in the month of March 2008 consisted of the re-run for the Shura Council elections of the Muslim Brotherhood Group in four constituencies because of the objections made to some measures that have been taken. The election activity included the holding of elections of the Student Council elections in a number of universities and preparations that were made for the elections of the Councils of the Jordanian Pharmacists Association [JPHA], the Jordanian Geologists Association [JGA] and the Jordanian Veterinary Association [JVA].

The Shura Council elections of the Muslim Brotherhood Group:

Re-run of the elections: There was a re-run of the elections in four constituencies, namely, Jabal El Hussein, El Hashimi, Aqaba and Ajloun after the executive bureau accepted the objections which challenged the election of Secretary General of the Islamic Action Front Zaki Bani Irsheid from El Hussein constituency against his competitors Ibrahim Zayd El Kilani and Sabri Samirah.


The amended regulations stipulate that the Shura Council selects the five appointed members before the chairman of the Shura Council is elected, after which the Comptroller General is elected. The Comptroller General then elects the list of the members of the executive bureau who would be submitted one by one to the Shura Council for voting.


The results of the first election

held on 3 March has decided the outcome of the Shura Council elections in more than 25 constituencies out of 35 constituencies in which the organizational elections of the Shura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood Group were held. Winning the elections for the Centrist trend were Munir Rashid and Kazim Ayish from the El Baq’ah constituency, Ahmad kafawin from Karak, Muhammad El Zughul from Ajloun, Arif Hamdan from Hayy Nazzal, and Abd-al-Majid El Qoudah and Isa Musa from Irbid. There were a strong competition and polarization attempts by the hawks and the centrist doves in a bid to secure an effective ratio in the 50-member Shura Council.


The elections of the Jordanian Press Association [JPA]:

The Council of the Jordanian Press Association [JPA] fixed 25 April 2008 as the date of the JPA elections amid extensive activity within the press body with many candidates nominating themselves for the post of president of the JPA. In fact, five candidates have nominated themselves for this post.


Student elections:

The University of Science and Technology: Independents secured the majority of the seats of the student union of the University of Science and Technology by winning 23 seats out of a total of 35 seats while Islamists won 12 seats and the Student Unity and al-Aqsa factions failed to win any seats. 67 per cent of the electorate voted in these elections.

El Hussein Ibn Talal University: A total of 179 students ran for elections to elect 43 candidates for the fifth session of the student council in 43 electoral constituencies representing the various academic sections and specializations. The elections were held on 26 March 2008. The Abna’ El Hussein bloc won 25 seats, the “we are all Jordan” bloc won four seats while the independents won 14 seats, including three seats for the Islamists. The rate of voting reached 71.5 of a total 5,200 students, who were eligible for voting. The rate of polling was the highest in the school of nursing out of all other schools of the university as it stood at 100 per cent while the lowest rate of voting was recorded in the parallel specialization section, which stood at 51 per cent.


Yarmouk University. In the elections of the sixteenth session of the Student Union Council, 305 students competed for 59 seats. A total of 333 students of the various schools of the university nominated themselves. A total of 28 candidates failed to fulfill the conditions of nomination. The conditions of nomination stipulated that the candidate should have an accumulative average of at least 60 per cent, that he should be enrolled at the university with a minimum of 12 credit hours, and that he needs at least 36 hours before he graduates, and that no penalty of those mentioned in the instructions of the disciplinary action against students has been passed against him.


The Zarqa Ahliya University. The Islamic Bloc at the university demanded the university administration to abrogate the one-man, one vote law which curbs the freedom of choice of their representatives in the student council elections. The students of the Islamic Bloc at the university also called for changing the principles and criteria of choosing the candidates, i.e. including the abrogation of instructions barring student candidates who received reprimands from running for elections and tightening the terms of the publicity and media campaigns.


Mu’ta University. The elections were held on 26 March and included for the first time in the history of student union elections the allocation of a quota for the women students at the university, women were allocated four seats, i.e. two seats for the schools of humanities and two seats for the scientific schools. A total of 75 students, including seven women students, nominated themselves in the various academic electoral constituencies. The seats of the student union council for this session reached 47 seats after adding four seats to the original 43 seats allocated for 40 electoral constituencies in view of the fact that there was more than one seat for some electoral constituencies.


The result of the elections was a crushing victory of the independents and the defeat of the Islamic trend, which won 10 out of 47 seats only.


Elections of the professional associations:

In the upcoming two months, three professional associations will hold their elections in the Professional Associations Complex. They are the Jordanian Pharmacists Association [JPHA], the Jordanian Geologists’ Association [JGA] and the Jordanian Veterinary Association [JVA]. Preparations for these elections have already begun in order to elect the presidents and council members of these associations.


The Jordanian Geologists Association [JGA] has already closed down the nomination for the candidacy. The number of geologists entitled to vote reached 618 out of 2,223 members registered with the JGA. The incumbent JGA Council witnessed in 2006 internal differences that led to the resignation of five JGA council members of the nine members of the Council. A decision was issued then by the Interpretation of Law Commission to hold supplementary elections.


Meanwhile, the door for nomination for the 18th session of the elections of the Jordanian Veterinary Association [JVA] where the president and members of the JVA council will be elected was opened was opened until Thursday, 17 April. The JVA gave its members who have not paid their subscription fees a period of grace until 16 April to pay their subscriptions in order to participate in the elections in which the incumbent President of the JVA, Dr Abd-al-Fattah El Kilani, is competing with his competitor in the recent elections, Dr. Faisal Abu-Saleem