QaribTalks#5: A crisis of confidence in local elections in Jordan and Palestine ? The media between promoting citizen participation and managing expectations.
The recent local elections in Jordan did not see a high turnout and, as expected, the capital Amman recorded the lowest turnout.
According to the Independent Election Commission, voter turnout in elections for provincial and municipal councils and Amman City Council was 29.64% in all Jordanian governorates. In the capital Amman, the turnout was 14.75 %, the lowest among the cities.
In Palestine, the situation was not much different, as the Palestinian Election Committee announced that “the voter turnout was 53%, with a slightly lower turnout in the big cities than in the small towns”.
Central elections were held in Palestine to elect 50 local bodies (city and municipal councils). The second phase of the elections covered the major cities in the West Bank: Ramallah, Al-Bireh, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Jericho, Bethlehem, Tubas and Salfit. At the time, “Hamas” boycotted the local elections, but some of its cadres participated in the lists of “independents”.
Why did people not participate in the elections? Was the media aware of the significance of this event? Did the media report extensively on the importance of local government and local councils to the democratic process?
In QARIBTALK #5, we open a dialogue on the media and local elections in Jordan and Palestine. We will invite election experts and media actors to answer specific questions that shed light on the role of the media in this context.