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Jordan’s Upcoming Elections: A Chance for Revival

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Eng. Saleem Al Batayneh

In a world where money and politics often intertwine to corrupt societies, the upcoming parliamentary elections in Jordan provide a glimmer of hope. Slovenian philosopher and critic Slavoj Žižek once said that the marriage of money and politics leads to corruption, undermining national security and public trust. It is a crime against the very essence of democracy, extending its influence far beyond election rigging and into the trading of parliamentary seats.
Yet, despite the skepticism surrounding the credibility of previous elections, we find ourselves at a critical juncture. Jordan’s political and economic climate is in dire need of reform, and the electoral process serves as the cornerstone of change. The indicators of a successful election lie not only in satisfaction and choice but also in the establishment of a free and fair electoral environment.
However, the growing electoral apathy in Jordan cannot be ignored. Year after year, the people have witnessed their living conditions deteriorate, eroding trust in the parliamentary system. The undeniable truth is that trust has been lost, and previous acts of boycotting elections have sent a clear message. The Jordanian people need to see real change, not empty promises.
Encouraging participation and voter turnout is no easy task. The right to vote is a personal one, and individuals hold the freedom to decide whether to exercise it. Nevertheless, as the parliamentary elections draw near, concerns over the infiltration of political money have heightened. Loopholes in the current electoral law have paved the way for the purchase of seats, threatening to distort the true will of the people.

The national list, while important, may unwittingly become a tool for the wealthy to consolidate power and serve their own interests.

Jordanians harbor valid concerns and positions as they approach the upcoming elections. The fear that politics will no longer be free is palpable. Money has become a significant threat to political reform, capable of buying influence and distorting the political landscape. Its association with politics tarnishes the moral fabric of the system, jeopardizing the integrity of political discourse.
The issue of political money and the pre-engineering of past elections cannot be fully explored in a single article. The story remains locked within a black box, elusive and resistant to scrutiny.
It is evident that the snares of political money have already begun to activate. Wealthy individuals are positioning themselves to wield influence through national lists. However, it would be naive to expect newly emerging parties to bear the burden of change. In Mauritania, for example, the number of parties exceeded one hundred, yet a law was enacted mandating the dissolution of all parties that failed to cross the 1% threshold.

In light of these circumstances, questions arise: Will we witness a radical shift in the composition of the upcoming parliament? Can we break free from the past and restore credibility to the electoral process?

The time has come for Jordanian political thought to shed the dust of past years. The pre-engineering of elections and the erosion of their basic mechanisms have exhausted the political system. The upcoming parliamentary elections can serve as a turning point, breathing new life into Jordan’s political landscape. It is a chance to reclaim the true essence of democracy and restore faith in the power of the people.
As Jordanians, we must seize this opportunity to demand transparency, accountability, and genuine representation. We must resist the infiltration of political money and safeguard the integrity of the electoral process. Only then can we embark on a path towards a revitalized political system, one that truly serves the interests and aspirations of the Jordanian people.

Al Batayneh is a Jordanian writer and was a member of of the Jordanian Parliament.