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Riots in Jordan in Protest against Municipal Elections Results | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Jordanian woman casts her ballot at polling station for local and municipal elections in Amman. (Reuters)

Amman – Riots erupted on Thursday in several regions in Jordan in protest against the results of municipal elections that were announced on Wednesday night.

No one was injured in the unrest as a security source said that the protesters are demanding a recount of the vote that they claimed was “flawed.”

The rioters blocked with burning tires the al-Tayba roundabout in the Irbid province in northern Jordan before the security forces intervened to disperse them using tear gas. Similar unrest was seen in the al-Karak province.

Two power plants in the al-Hashemiya and Rawdat al-Amir Rashed were also shut down by rioters, but electricity was soon restored to the affected areas.

Information Minister and official government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani described the unrest as “shameful.”

He said in a statement on Thursday that security agencies have arrested a number of perpetrators, adding that a lawless gang that is known to the security forces is involved in the riots.

“What happened does not reflect us, our state or our society,” he declared.

In addition, a number of rioters attacked polling stations in the Liwa al-Mwaqar, in what the electoral body said was an assault against the “Jordan’s dignity.”

The electoral body had canceled elections in three areas in al-Mwaqar and canceled the results in ten others after they were attacked.

Commenting on the victory of youth and women leaderships in the elections, Momani said that this indicates that the electoral process achieved a major political goal that saw the expansion of the base of participation in decision-making.

He underlined the “awareness of the Jordanian society and its acceptance of diversity, which assert the essence of the democratic process.”

Participating in elections is the right of all members of society, he added.

Furthermore, the government spokesman stressed the need to serve the people in their regions and achieve justice in providing services away from political or partisan influence.

Municipal work in turn should “rise above” partisanship, he said.