Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The results

I am finally in the mood to absorb some of the results of yesterday’s election. Some were expected, while others were less so.

The most stunning result was the devastating defeat of IAF candidates. Only six of the 22 candidates won, and with less than stellar results. Azzam Huneidi (Amman first) came in fourth, trailing behind Khalil Attieh, Ja’afar Abdullat and Hassan Safi. This district used to produce two IAF deputies as well as independent Abdulmin’im Abu Zant, who was a member of the IAF until he was dismissed from the movement after he defied the boycott decision in 1997. Mohammad Haj (Zerqa fourth) was dismissed from the movement this year after running without the IAF nomination. He beat the IAF candidate, Ja’afar Hourani in that district. No IAF candidate won in either Zerqa or Irbid.

Most of the old fixtures such as Abdulhadi Majali (Karak second), Abdelraouf Rawabdeh (Irbid second), Mamdouh Abbadi (Amman third), Sa’ad Hayil Srour (Northern Bedouins) and Abdulkarim Dughmi (Mafraq first) kept their seats. The most notable loser from this group was Hashem Dabbas (Belqa first). Thus, the more notable and heavyweight deputies will be there.

There will be seven women in the next parliament, after Falak Jama’ani (Madaba second) won the seat of that district outright. Nariman Rousan (Irbid fifth) almost won the seat for that district outright, but came short by only 14 votes. Reem Qasim (Zerqa third) won after she garnered a sympathy vote following her husband’s death a couple of weeks ago.

The election was won largely won on a tribal basis. Mustafa Hamarneh (Madaba first) attempted to break out of this mold, with an outspoken, liberal, inclusive approach. He lost to Riyad Ya’acoub. So much for polling data. Mohammad Bataineh (Irbid first) tried a similar track, with the same results. He couldn’t overcome having two competitors from the same tribe. No overt leftists seem to be represented in the next parliament.

Candidates catering and feeding grievances of Palestinian Jordanians, such as Najati Shakhshir and Tareq Khouri (Amman third) had mixed results. Shakhsir lost (after spending tons of money) and Khouri won (after spending tons of money). It is not obvious that this message resonated very much. Of course, the feeling is there.

In all, I am optimistic about the results. Only time will tell if this is misplaced or not.



At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

معضم النصابين القدما قد خرجوا من هذه الانتخابات الغير نزيها بي مقاعدهم الازليه التي خصصت لهم من قبل الحكومه"الموقره" ..
هذه البرلمان المزيف سيكون مثل سابقاته ولن يجلب الي لشعب سوا المزيد من الفسادوالسرقات علي الوزن الثقيل،مره أخري الشعب الكادح سيكون الخسران من هذاالبرلمان الكركوزوالذي عتل علي كتاف الكثير من المضلالين الذين يعتقدون بي أن الانتخاب لهذا أو داك البرلمان سيغير شئ
أريد ن أسئل الحكومه،لماذالم تسمحو بموراقبين دوليين مثل الامم المتحده او لجنه من السوق الاروبيه المشتركه

At 4:47 AM, Blogger Masalha1 said...

Khaled Satari, third district Balqa' is leftist ( communist ) or whatever Dr. Mustafa Shneikat party (if you wanna call it that), but he won based palestinians versus Jordanians tactics NOT on party affiliation.
Majali, Rawabdeh, Srour, Doghmi, those guys will be glued to those seats for a long time to come, or (until death do us a part) same GENE of the arab leaders.

At 2:43 AM, Blogger FadiMalian said...

Before we call it a defeat for IAF, we must answer two questions. Was the election fair and free? And did IAF supporters have trust in it to go and vote?

Personally, from the very limited sources I have access to; this election was not free, though I can not estimate the size of cheating and its actual impact. One common example was cited that illustrates the style of cheating the government followed this time is enforcing the rules in the areas where opposition candidates have strong support and loosing it in areas of their real competitors to allow multiple voting and people voting instead of absents . This easier to implement in tribal areas where the supporters of candidate are clearly segregated. This is on top of using the government power in advance to push to run candidates with no chance to win just to weaken the opposition candidate from the same tribe.

I agree that IAF might be in its weakest state, and they might not get the majority even in a free election, or at least I wish they do not, but as a fair person, I know their real power and popularity is more than the 5% they got in terms of seats. But I know another thing, the government is very unpopular as well and that is why they had to resort to such clear act fearing any small percentage of opposition even if that is one person. I disagree with the root principles of IAF not only their announced positions and behavior, but in the absence of quality opposition, their voice with limited power was good. This election is an added disappointment to the series we had the last few years, it is clear we are heading the wrong direction.

Khalaf, I am reading your blog regularly and generally find your topics and analysis informative and interesting. I might have lengthy comments sometimes especially when I basically disagree with not with your position but with the analysis method you followed to form or the basic assumptions you based your position on. The lengthy comments are out of respect for the blog and its owner. But if you feel that is an invasion or does not fit your vision of your blog, please let me know.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Fadi Malian; your input is welcome, and I hope that you continue. Many comentators, who are much less civil than you, don't like what I say. I respect that, although I don't always find it useful to respond to them.

The IAF lost for a number of reasons, of which government interference was a tiny part. There was no intimidation of their supporters, and I get the feeling that the government hoped that they would do better. However, the reality is that:
1- People are disenchanted with them personally as well as with their programs and rhetoric.
2- There is massive infighting in their organization, and some were fighting openly against the official slate.
3- At least two IAF winners won mostly from tribal rather than party support.

I agree that there is unhappiness with the government. This does not mean that this unhappiness should be translated to self-destructive behaviour.


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