Candidates on Saturday demanded a partial recount in recent Jordanian parliamentary elections, even as protests regarding the contested results rumbled on, DPA reported Hundreds of supporters of defeated candidates rallied in Amman and Mafraq, marking the third straight day of protests over the results of the January 23 polls. Some 56.7 per cent of Jordan’s 3 million eligible voters cast ballots in Wednesday’s polls, which were declared by international observers to be free and fair, with few irregularities. However several candidates cried foul after a late surge in voting tipped the balance in several heated contests and after final election results on Thursday sealed some candidates’ victories with margins in the single digits.
In a midday demonstration on Saturday, some 300 supporters of former legislator Nawaf Khawaldeh rallied in front of the country’s independent electoral commission, calling for a recount after final results overturned what they claimed was an “assured victory.”
Meanwhile, some 300 supporters of defeated candidates gathered in the northern city of Mafraq, accusing Amman of turning a blind eye to “voter fraud.”
The rallies came as a local civil coalition for monitoring the elections, RASID, issued a report alleging irregularities in the counting of ballots in 20 of the 61 national lists that fielded candidates in the polls.
In the report, RASID also urged the electoral commission to embark on a partial recount.
As of late Saturday, election officials had yet to come to a decision regarding a recount.
Violent protests erupted within hours of Amman’s announcement of electoral results on Thursday, with rioters setting fire to schools, government buildings and banks in several cities across the country.