Thursday, August 02, 2007

Irbid election results and the cheating charge

Five candidates ran for mayor in Irbid. The winner, Abderaouf Tell, received 41995 votes. In second place came Abdelnasser Bani Hani (22262 votes) and in third place came the IAF candidate, Nabil Kofahi (16479 votes).

The margin of victory for Tell over Kofahi, who withdrew his candidacy at around 1 in the afternoon, was over 25500 votes.

The IAF claims that the military bussed in voters to vote for Tell. Assuming that in the remaining four hours of voting (after voting had been going on for six hours) Kofahi got double his number (doubtful), then his total would have reached about 33000 votes.

Thus, the vote differential between Tell and Kofahi would have been on the order of 9000 votes.

Assuming the busses carried 50 soldier voters each, the total number of busses needed to overcome Kofahi by this margin (assuming that they were tied) was 180 buses. There are 23 voting places in Irbid, which means that 8 full buses per station were needed to achieve this, but much more if the government wanted to play it safe.

Now, the government does not deny busing in soldiers to vote. It denies that they were ordered to vote for any specific candidate. My guess is that each station saw 2 or 3 buses. Even five loaded buses would not have made a difference.

Of course, this rough analysis does not mean that cheating did not occur, but it implies that the scale would have been massive for it to have made a difference.

The IAF has made contradictory statements as to whether the soldiers voted verbally (illiterate voting) or whether they had pre-filled ballot cards. Ballot cards have to be signed by the head to the box committee. So, in case this is investigated, it will be easy to determine whether boxes were stuffed with pre-filled ballots by simply looking at the signatures on the ballot cards. Illiterate voting means that the ballot card was filled by one person at the box charged with writing in the voters’ wishes. The number of ballots with these persons’ handwriting can also be determined by an impartial analysis.

This issue should be resolved through an impartial investigation, either by the courts following an official IAF complaint or by an independent committee appointed by the government. Since the government is the accused, the best way to settle this is by judicial inquiry.

11 Comments:

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Globalorama said...

the analysis makes sense. but, I do not think our judicial systems is partial enough to make fair judgments.

 
At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the effort. However, a lot may agree that the IAF were going to lose even under an impartial government for many reasons; the Kharazat (the Irbid city tribes) overwhelming backing of Al Tell and the broad acceptance of the descent Tell by almost all the tribes of the surrounding villages who respected the civil man and disliked his arrogant Irbidian predecessor. The residents of Irbid camp and other Irbidians of Palestinian origin were not and apparently did not vote to the IAF as they previously did. The way Dr (The only PhD from the faculty of Engineering, JUST) Kofahy was squeezed to be the IAF candidate by his father and his cunning friends did not go well amongst many of the IAF grass roots or their sympathizers who were rumored to be wanting to vote to Tell who was the IAF candidate and the mayor of Irbid previously. Now, dear friend, the way I see things that the government were almost sure that Tell was going to win, they just, arrogantly and stupidly went for the over kill by the illiterate voting of the army personnel and allowing them to vote in many stations (hearsay for you!). A grimmer explanation for the voting fraud is that the government wants us to see how far they can go without caring for the people's wishes and a not so dry run for the parliamentary elections next fall. The Americans are watching and maybe El Hajjeh Condy will through few kisses on the silky cheeks of the PM!!.

A very cold winter is awaiting us indeed.

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

I don't understand. You say everybody wanted Tell. So why are you claiming fraud after he won? I am sorry, but it does not make sense. Fraud is used to make a losing candidate win. It is all hearsay. Sorry.

 
At 6:17 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

I think that the islamists claim they will sweep the election, so I think that they should be comfortable. If their candidate were to win they should get 200,000 votes because they claim that the majority is with them, but it appears that they are not the majority..

Bas sometimes the government is sooo dumb, I don't really know how they think! They should have a manual or something to help them make decisions!

 
At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Abdallah Kabariti said...

Jordanian would have voted for the IAF by a landslide but any wise Jordanian would take the hint and stay home. Months of slanderous campaigns by the regime against the islamists, culminating with accusations of Iranian connections and a blatant takeover of their charities sent a clear signal to Jordanians with Islamists sympathies: you could be targeted next. Fact is voter participation is low even by government estimates. 51%. Which usually means you knock off 20%. I put voter turnout at about 25%, which is about the size of the pro-regime camp that's running the lives of the 75% of the "silenced majority."

 
At 6:58 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

And your stats and "facts" come from? Dreams? Mirage? What the IAF tells you?
One rule: If you think that something is true, that doesn't make it true!
Get over it, the IAF is not the majority and never will be, their use of tribal figures is just a proof of what they represent.

If they are the majority no kind of fraud will be able to make them loose:P

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger Ammar said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, dear friend, the way I see things that the government were almost sure that Tell was going to win, they just, arrogantly and stupidly went for the over kill by the illiterate voting of the army personnel and allowing them to vote in many stations (hearsay for you!). A grimmer explanation for the voting fraud is that the government wants us to see how far they can go without caring for the people's wishes and a not so dry run for the parliamentary elections next fall. The Americans are watching and maybe El Hajjeh Condy will through few kisses on the silky cheeks of the PM!!.

This was from the previous post. Yes, ok, and i admit, the word fraud is misplaced. However, they did the above and the army VOICED their candidate's choice and only for the president and in many voting stations (wa ayadakom allaho be jonoden lam tarooha). The dry run and intimidation for the parlimentary election is a my explanation as well as shear stupidity. A far fitched idea is that a message to the Israeli and american public (who doesnt see Al Jazeerah and Al Arab al yawm)that less than a quarter of our peace loving people vote for the eastern wing of Hammas

 
At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Khalaf, I used to enjoy reading your post thinking that you had some objective analysis and sometimes expounded alternative viewpoints regarding democracy and political events in Jordan but your owm biases are so apparent. First you scorned IAF claims of manipulation through military votes. Then when this happens you claim that it didnt change the result and again criticise IAF.

I dont care for IAF, but if you are interested in better governance and a more democratic Jordan, you would be fingering the government for seeking to manipulate voting, by exploiting their hold on military and public servants. In this instance there is nothing more obvious, and it is completely inappropriate. It's really no secret that the government also pursued a public recruitment drive with the hope of influencing elections.

You're obviously slimply out to discredit IAF as much as possible and endorse the current system. For you democratic reform is welcomed as long as it promotes the ruling groups.

This conditional democracy approach has led to major disasters in other countries, vis Algeria, Palestine and Lebanon. Democratic processes should need to be transparent and honest. Democracy is not a game, it is a culture. Jordan is a long way away, and these elections demonstrate the Government's lack of commitment to a genuine improvement.

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

I have never hidden my biases. More importantly,I have never subscribed to rumors as a source of information. I have seen nor heard of any direct evidence of the manipulation of public servants that you are talking about. Moreover, there is no logical reason for the government to want to manipulate the vote (I am talking about Irbid here). The numbers are too overwhelming to have been manipulated in the way that it is purported to have happened. The political picture (as described by one of the commentators here) was overwhelmingly in support of Tell.

Now, I can't prevent people from believing unsubstantiated and ridiculous rumors. However, this does not mean that I should subscribe to them myself.

 
At 2:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

امتنعت جبهة العمل الإسلامي عن نشر إعلانها في الرأي فزادت إعلانات الرأي، فإذا كانت الجبهة ليست في الحكم وتقاطع الصحيفة الأولى فماذا يحدث إذا حكمت؟؟. أم أنها ستقطع رأس الرأي؟؟.

Even Abu Ali (Tareq Masarweh) had joined the chorus. I used to like it when i read the word ZA3BAR in his articles. The word applies to the old man's words

 

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