Political Parties in Jordan’s 2020 Parliamentary
Political Parties in Jordan’s 2020 Parliamentary Elections
Mohammed Abu Rumman
Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs, Musa al Maaytah was successful in encouraging political parties to participate in the 2020 Parliamentary elections. This is attributed to the engineering of the financial contribution bylaws number 155 to support political parties.
The bylaws linked government financial support to political parties to a set of criteria including participation in parliamentary elections, whether in terms of number of candidates or number of districts, as well as new gender and youth benchmarks for candidates.
Unlike previous years, these new regulations forced parties to announce their candidates clearly and much earlier, as opposed to the tendency to be ambiguous and prioritize social and tribal considerations in previous years.
The financial support incentives also require parties to participate in coalitions and enhance female participation as well as candidates under the age of 35, considered a new phenomenon
To what extent are these changes having a real impact on the evolution of political parties and not just a tactical phenomenon to get financial support?
Such changes could on one hand lead in time to a more developed party scene encouraging parties to integrate and form larger coalitions. On the other hand, some see such changes as mere formalities and tactics without any real impact on the formation of the next Parliament.
The Political Party Landscape and party coalitions
The party landscape is divided into a group of coalitions.
The Party Scene in the 2020 Elections
All parties announced their participation in the 2020 elections individually or through coalitions with the exception of the Partnership and Salvation Party (Mohammed Hammouri), which boycotted.
The following observations on tactical changes in the party behavior in the current elections are noted:
Around 332 party members are running mostly from the IAF and the nationalist and leftist parties in Amman, Irbid, and Zarqa Governorates. However, these Governorates usually witness the lowest levels of voter turnout followed by Madaba, Balqa and Karak governorates. The Governorates with least party activity in the lections include Mafraq, Aqaba, Maan, Jerash, Tafileh and Ajloun.
Observations on IAF Tactics
IAF lists indicate the continuity of previous tactics in terms of coming under the banner of the National Alliance for Reform and the abandonment of the “Islam is the Solution” slogan. The IAF continues its tactic of staying away from center stage in the campaign.
Despite the clear differences in the party scene in the 2020 elections, the expected results are not different in any significant manner from the previous parliament whether in terms of number of seats parties are expected to win, or the size of representation by IAF, or the fragile nature of political coalitions that will be formed on party basis. It is therefore, not expected to see a qualitative leap in party politics that could produce skilled political leaders in parliamentary work and public outreach.