Letter to the Jordanian people on elections

From King Abdallah II of Jordan
To the Jordanian people
RE: Elections' Success
29 January 2013
Translated from Arabic

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate

Dear Sons and Daughters of Jordan,

Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

It is a pleasure to congratulate our faithful Jordanian people on the success of the parliamentary elections, which have stood out as a qualitative leap and shining milestone in Jordan’s political history and democratic process.

You have made history, adding another bright chapter to the country’s record of achievements, by participating with confidence and enthusiasm in these elections, which are the stepping stone into a new era of determination to proceed with the process of change and the envisioned reform, and enroot political pluralism and public participation.

The key to success in our reform process is that it is founded on a democratic approach built on partnership among all components of our one Jordanian society, and their positive interaction with reform efforts as the process progresses.

Thanks to the resolve of all of you, such historic achievement will always be a source of pride to our homeland. The sons and daughter of our dear nation flocked to take part in the polls out of their belief that success in making the envisaged change and addressing challenges, regardless of their magnitude, is in their hands. They believe that their participation is the vehicle to such an achievement and the first step towards a new stage in our political life.

I would like to assert today that the success of the entire electoral process would not have been achieved without people’s cooperation with all state agencies, which, in turn, performed their respective duties through relentless work to ensure that such elections be held in a democratic atmosphere and in an impartial and fair manner.

Having followed the electoral process to the end, I cannot but voice my pride and that of the majority of Jordanians in the high level of professionalism, good organisation and transparency in which the polls were conducted, in line with international best practices and standards and a clear vision based on optimal goals and ideals. This achievement eventually constituted a quality leap in our comprehensive reform process.

Having said that, it is my pleasure to extend the sincerest praise and appreciation to the president, commissioners and staff of the Independent Elections Commission (IEC). This commission, which is an outcome of groundbreaking constitutional amendments, has marked a turning point in history of elections management and oversight. IEC staff worked around the clock, driven by their belief that their mission could not have been aptly accomplished without giving their country a success story by running fair, free and transparent elections. May God reward them generously for the exceptional, relentless and sincere efforts they exerted from the moment they assumed such a noble national mission, which they completed in record time to give us quality parliamentary elections that won the praise of all local and international monitors.

In general terms, the electoral process was a success. However, attention should be paid to address some limited and secondary points of weakness that did not affect the essence of the process, in order to overcome them and continuously improve electoral process management.

I also voice my appreciation for the volunteers who worked day and night, projecting a bright image of the Jordanian spirit of giving by sacrificing their break time, impressing both citizens and monitors. With all keenness and altruism, these volunteers extended a helping hand to all those who went to polling stations.

Jordanian observers deployed across our dear homeland to monitor the electoral process and detect any weakness in procedures, so as to tackle it on the spot, played a key role in ensuring an election that befits our democratic trajectory. Their observations will play a key role in the development of the electoral process through coming cycles, and we extend to them all our thanks and appreciation.

Since the onset of the elections, the government also played a vital role, providing all support to ensure that such an important constitutional and reform requirement be met successfully. The elections proved the neutrality of state agencies and their unquestionable keenness to properly set the stage for the polls and ensure that voters cast their ballots in an atmosphere of utter freedom, equality and participation.

I also seize this opportunity to express my deep pride in and appreciation for each member of the Public Security Department, Gendarmerie, and Civil Defence Directorate who worked hard around the clock, showing the highest level of professionalism, to make election day a bright milestone in our democratisation process.

I also thank all civil society organisations that worked to create an environment conducive to electoral participation, through their awareness activities. Praise should also go to national media outlets, which played a responsible role, provided a platform for meaningful and constructive dialogue, and covered all stages of the elections with objectivity, impartiality and professionalism.

As I extend my sincerest congratulations to my brothers and sisters who won the confidence of our generous people, who deserve our relentless work to ensure the bright future they are worthy of, I should underline the huge responsibility that awaits the new Lower House to rise to the challenges facing our nation. Deputies are expected to continuously reach out to all citizens, political forces and local community figures and engage them in debate, to ensure that their voices be heard and their issues aptly taken care of under the Dome, so as to serve the public good, enroot citizens’ participation in decision-making, and move on to the next reform milestones with the highest degree of consensus and popular engagement.

We also appreciate the role of all those who enriched the electoral process by running in the elections. There are no losers in these elections, because the country is the first and biggest winner, and all of you, sons and daughters of this country, win and grow with its achievements.  Those who won people’s confidence and made it to the House should prove that they represent the entire nation and that they carry the concerns, issues and priorities of all. These elections should be the starting point for more unity and accord, rather than, God forbid, disagreement and division.

Undoubtedly, the polls offer an opportunity to all state agencies, civil society organisations, activists and those concerned with public affairs to reflect, learn lessons and build on experiences to develop the democratisation process by addressing the weaknesses that were impartially and responsibly detected, and to embark on efforts to improve the electoral process.

Today, we reap one of the reform fruits and stand at the threshold of a new stage. We are totally confident that, with Jordanians’ resolve, unity and keenness to shoulder responsibilities, we are heading confidently and united towards new milestones and achievements awaiting us, as we move from the Jordanian Spring to the Jordanian Summer, a season of work and harvest.

As I again congratulate our one Jordanian family and salute them for such a historic achievement, I pray God the Almighty to grant us success in every effort for the best of our precious homeland.

Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Amman, 29 December 2013