Jordanian expats hope polls would usher in better times

DUBAI — As Jordan goes to parliamentary polls today, the Jordanian community in Dubai yesterday hoped the voting process would be smooth and just, and wished that the elections prove to be a turning point in the country’s history.

By Mary Nammour (Our staff reporter)

Published: Tue 20 Nov 2007, 8:42 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:38 AM

Even though the Jordanians living outside Jordan are not directly involved in casting their vote since no overseas ballot casting system is in place, they said they were very keenly watching the developments.

Laith Masadeh, IT analyst, believed the elections would be a charade rather than a democratic process of voting. “We strongly believe that the government will interfere as it did in the municipal elections of last July in order to influence the results of the vote. The tribes will have an effective part as usual. Each tribe will have one or many candidates who merely represent the family or the clan they hail from,” he said.

“I don’t think that the people will be genuinely represented in these elections. I personally am in favour of some independent candidates who represent, to a certain extent, some of the ideals of our current generation,” Masadeh added.

Dubai-based journalist Jamal Al Dwairi believed that most of the candidates do not have efficient electoral platforms based on ideological principles. “We are used to seeing candidates running for the parliament and winning seats in the legislative council just because they belong to a big and well-connected tribe or because of their positions,” Al Dwairi noted.

Al Dwairi is not quite sure that the victorious candidates would be able to make a difference on issues like as the Middle East peace process, control of oil prices, the situation in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“They may voice the concerns of the Jordanian people and the aspirations of the public in problems like unemployment, price hike and other issues. Through some pressure on the government the elected deputies may manage to reach solutions for the daily problems in the lives of Jordanian people. Those solutions might not be radical though,” he added.

Samar Dabat, a public relations officer executive, said that although she was not keeping a close eye on the parliamentary elections she just wanted them to be free and fair.

“We as Jordanian people are interested in better medical insurance, good public schooling and reduction of unemployment rate, in addition to increase in salaries so that the ordinary citizens could survive the inflation,” she explained.

Amine Jawarneh, a computer engineer, however, was optimistic about the possible change that might be made by the prospective deputies.

“Our country is not rich in resources, so we need our politicians’ creativity to improve the economic and social situation. The candidates will be elected on the basis of their programmes. Hence, they must come up with brilliant ideas to make considerable achievements in the country. Hopefully, the elections will be impartial and just,” Jawarneh said.

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