Law on Decentralisation

Law on Decentralisation

Law No. (49) of 2015

 

Article 1 – This law is named “The Law on Decentralisation of 2015” and shall be enacted as of the date of publishing in the Official Gazette.

 

Article 2 – The following words, phrases and terms, wherever they appear in this Law, have the following specific meanings, unless the context indicates otherwise:

 

Ministry: Ministry of Interior.
Minister: Minister of Interior.
Executive Council: The Executive Council of the governorate established as per this Law.
Council: The governorate council established as per this Law.
Administrator: The governor, provincial governor or Qada manager, appointed as per the provisions of the Administrative Appointment Regulations.
Commission: The Independent Election Commission (IEC).
Board of Commissioners: The Board of Commissioners of IEC.
Department: The Civil Status and Passports Department, its directorates and offices in the governorates.
Jordanian: A person with a Jordanian nationality as per the provisions of the Jordanian Nationality Law.

Voter: Every Jordanian with the right to vote for council members as per this Law.
Actual voter: Every voter that exercised his/her right to vote as per this Law.
Candidate: The voter whose candidacy application for council elections has been approved as per this Law.
District: Every part of the governorate that has been allocated one or more seats as per this Law and the regulations issued in accordance with it.
Polling center: The location designated to perform the processes of voting and counting.
Election Committee: The committee formed in each district as per this Law.
Card: The identity card that has been issued by the Department.
Resident: A Jordanian whose usual place of residence is within a certain district.

 

Article 3

A. The Governor shall, over and above the tasks and the powers granted to him by the valid legislation, undertake the following:

 

  1. Lead, supervise and ensure that the official bodies in the governorate are carrying out their tasks.

  2. Follow up on the execution of state public policy in the governorate; take whatever necessary action needed to ensure these policies are heeded so that state departments and institutions in the governorate are performing their duties and applying the laws, regulations, instructions, notifications and official directives in coordination with the stakeholders, if necessary.

  3. Coordinate among the council and municipalities of the governorate, the ministries, government departments and public institutions.

  4. Supervise development and service plans and the preparation of the annual governorate budget.

  5. Take the necessary measures to ensure the execution of the council’s decisions; and refer these to the competent body.

  6. Avail the best services to the citizens in coordination with the council.

  7. Work with the council and the executive council to avail the appropriate environment to encourage investment at the governorate; avail socio-economic development requirements; and take the necessary measures to realize this in coordination with the stakeholders.

  8. Protect state property, work on developing and utilizing it, and take necessary measures to guarantee this.

  9. Take the necessary measures to protect health, public safety and the environment; formulate monitoring and inspection committees with the authority to temporarily close shops, enterprises and sites in violation; and seizing assets until these violations are referred to the competent court.

  10. Take necessary measures in cases of emergency and coordinate efforts of all competent authorities.

  11. Conduct periodic meetings for the council and committees that he/she presides over and take the measures necessary to execute their decisions and recommendations.

  12. Exercise any powers or duties as delegated by the cabinet, the prime minister or the competent ministers.

B. Public security forces, gendarmerie, and civil defense forces shall be deployed in the governorate and their centers shall be designated and cancelled in agreement with the governor.

C. Should it become apparent to the governor that the public security forces in the governorate are insufficient to maintain security, public order or public safety, he/she may request from the minister support from the Jordanian Armed Forces / Arab Army.

 

Article 4

A. An executive council shall be established in every governorate, chaired by the governor and with the following members:

 

  1. The Deputy Governor and administrators who are heading the liwas, two managers of Qadas who head the Qada directorates in the governorate, and the assistant governor for developmental affairs.

  2. The Directors of the executive directorates and services departments at the governorates. In case there are more than one director of directorate or department within a certain ministry, the competent minister or the officer in charge of the sector name one of the directors of the directorates or departments, as the case may be, to become a member of the executive council.

  3. The directors of the development zones and industrial cities in the governorate, if any.

  4. Maximum three executive directors of municipalities in the governorate to be named by the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

  5. One of the commissioners of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) to be nominated by its President with regard to the Aqaba Governorate and one commissioner of the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority to be nominated by its President with regard to Ma’an Governorate.

B. The Deputy Governor shall be the Deputy Chairman of the Executive Council and shall chair the Executive Council in his/her absence.

C. The Executive Council shall convene upon invitation from its chairman or vice-chairman in the event of his/her absence at least once a month so that it is deemed legal upon the attendance of the majority of its members. It shall make its decisions, recommendations, and referrals with the majority of the votes of its members in attendance.

 

Article 5

A. The Executive Council shall assume following roles and responsibilities, as long as they do not contradict with the provisions of the valid ASEZA Law, the valid Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority Law and the authorities of their boards of commissioners:

  1. Drafting strategic plans and action plans for the governorate, harmonizing them with the strategic plans that are drafted by the municipal councils and other official entities, ensuring compatibility with the national strategies and plans, and referring them to the council to take the appropriate decisions in this regard.

  2. Drafting a guide covering the needs of the governorate in terms of development and service projects, including the needs guide from the municipalities and other official entities and referring it the council.

  3. Drafting the governorate budget within certain ceilings specified by the Ministry of Finance / General Budget Department and referring it to the council.

  4. Review of the general conditions in the governorate, discussing public service issues in it, considering any suggestions proposed by any member and taking the necessary decisions in their regard, and considering the reports from the municipal councils and taking appropriate decisions in their regard.

  5. Establishing principles that guarantee good work progress by the administrative and executive bodies in the governorate.

  6. Making the necessary recommendations regarding investment in the governorate and referring them to the council unless this contradicts with any other legislation.

  7. Drafting reports on work progress in the projects and services and referring them to the council every six months.

  8. Taking necessary action regarding the decisions and recommendations of the council.

  9. Coordinating with the public and official commissions and institutions with competence on the plans and programs they are carrying out.

  10. Studying the issues that are referred to it by the governor or the council.

  11. Drafting the necessary emergency plans at the governorate level to address cases of emergency and disasters, such as floods, torrents, snow, fire or others, and submitting them to the council.

B. The executive council may establish one or more committees to carry out its roles or powers provided that the exact tasks are specified in the decision to form them.

C. For the purposes of executing this Law, the directors of the government departments and public institutions at the governorate shall abide by the instructions issued by the governor and shall be accountable to him for their implementation.

 

Article 6

A. Every governorate shall have a council called the Governorate Council, composed of a number of members and it shall have the legal personality with financial and administrative independence.

B. The number of the elected council’s members, the boundaries and the seats allocated for them in every governorate shall be determined in regulations that shall be issued for that purpose.

C. 1. Taking into account paragraphs (b) and (d) of this Article, an additional 10% of the number of seats allocated for the elected council’s members shall be allocated for women to be filled by the candidates with the highest number of votes in the governorate who did not win. For this purpose, the number shall be rounded to the closest integer.

2. All affairs relevant to allocating the percentage in item (1) of this Paragraph shall be regulated in the regulations issued as per paragraph (b) of this Article.

D. The cabinet shall appoint, as per the recommendation of the Minister, no more than (15%) of the number of elected council members as members in the council, provided that one third of this percentage is allocated to women.

 

Article 7 – The term of the council shall be four years as of the announcement of the names of the winners in the Official Gazette. Its term shall end with the end of this interval or in the event of its dissolution pursuant to this Law.

 

Article 8 – The council shall undertake the following duties, as long as they do not contradict with the provisions of the valid ASEZA Law, the valid Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority Law, and the powers of the Board of Commissioners of either of them:

  1. Endorse strategic and action plans related to the governorate, referred to it by the executive council and ensure their implementation.

  2. Endorse the governorate’s draft budget within the ceilings set by the Ministry of Finance / General Budget Department, referred to it by the executive council, in order to incorporate it in the general budget as per the procedures of drafting the general state budget.

  3. Look into the means of implementing the annual budgets of all the governorate’s municipalities.

  4. Approve the governorate’s guide of needs in terms of development and service projects referred to it by the executive council and identify the priority needs.

  5. Approve the services and investment projects referred to it by the executive council after completing the necessary procedures in line with valid legislation.

  6. Endorse development projects of public benefit to the governorate, provided consideration is given to development projects proposed by municipal councils and official departments and institutions within the governorate, and submit them to the governor to take appropriate action in their regard.

  7. Discuss reports on the implementation of projects, plans and programs that are being carried out by the government departments in the governorate, without contradicting with the work of the competent government monitoring agencies, and follow up and assess work progress in the development projects.

  8. Propose the establishment of investment projects and carry out joint projects with other governorates with the approval of the competent entities.

  9. Put forth recommendations and proposals for the competent entities that would guarantee enhancements in the performance of government departments and public institution within the governorate to ensure the best in service provision.

  10. Identify the areas within the boundaries of the governorate that are suffering from shortages in services and development or have urgent problems, propose appropriate solutions and endorse an emergency governorate plan.

  11. Discuss with any member of the executive council the topics within its jurisdiction.

  12. Consider any issue submitted by the governor.

B. The council may establish one or more committees from among its members to carry out its duties or powers provided that the exact tasks are specified in the decision to form them.

 

Article 9

  1. The council shall convene upon invitation from its chair or vice-chair in the event of his/her absence.

  2. There shall be an allocation to the council from the annual governorate budget that is sufficient to sustain its work. Its chair shall authorize expenditures and the accounts of the council shall be subject to Audit Bureau’s auditing.

  3. The cabinet shall approve a bonus for the members of the council based on the recommendations of the Minister. It shall be permissible to combine these bonuses with pensions of the chair of the council and its members.

  4. The decisions and procedures pertaining to the meetings of the council, their duration, locations, as well as the means by which the council makes its decisions, administers its affairs and forms its committees shall be outlined regulations issued for this purpose.

 

Article 10 – The development unit at the governorate is the general secretariat to each of the council and the executive council. The governor shall nominate from the staff of this unit a secretary to each who shall forward the invitations to their meetings and shall take minutes of their sessions, resolutions, and recommendations in a special register for each to be signed by the chair of the council or the executive council and the members in attendance as the case may be. These shall be published on the council’s website.

 

Article 11

A. 1. In the event of a conflict or dispute between the council and the executive council on any matter related to the governorate, the dispute shall be referred to a joint committee of the two councils headed by the governorate council chair and composed of an equal number of members from both councils.

2. The committee shall convene upon invitation from its chair with the attendance of the majority of its members. It shall take its decisions with a majority vote of its attending members and in the event of a tie in the votes, the side on which the chair voted shall win and its decision shall become binding.

  1. In the event of a delay in the endorsement of the governorate’s budget for any reason, disbursement shall take place according to the mechanisms of disbursement from the state general budget.

 

Article 12

A. 1. The cabinet shall issue a resolution to conduct governorate council elections and the Commission shall set the date of the elections, which may coincide with the date of municipal elections provided. Both resolutions shall be published in the Official Gazette. The Commission may designate a special election day for some of the districts other than the specified day as per this paragraph if this is necessary in the interest of the safety of the elections or public interest.

2. The cabinet may delay the council elections if the municipal elections are postponed.

B. The Commission shall initiate the necessary measures for the council elections six months prior to the set date or during the six months prior to the end of the council’s term.

C. If it was not possible to the conduct elections after the council’s term has come to an end, the existing council shall continue until the elections are conducted.

 

Article 13

A. Every Jordanian that has completed eighteen calender years of age on the date set by the Board of Commissioners shall enjoy the right elect the council members, if registered in a final voter list.

B. The following shall be denied the right to vote:

  1. Individuals convicted of bankruptcy without having been legally redeemed.

  2. Individuals who are insane or mentally retarded.

  3. Individuals who are under guardianship, without having been cleared.

  4. The courts shall provide the Civil Status and Passports Department at the beginning of January and July of every year or any other date the Commission designates with all the final decisions issued by them pertaining to guardianship and bankruptcy, provided that they contain the full names of the persons covered against whom these decisions were issued and their national numbers at the time of enacting this Law.

  5. The Department shall take the necessary actions to delete the names of the deceased persons from its records to ensure their names do not appear in voter lists.

 

Article 14

A. 1. The Department shall, using computers and on the basis of the national identity numbers, and in coordination with the Commission, draft the preliminary voter lists so that they are ordered in terms of males and females with the right to vote and the card based on the voter’s place of residency as per the records of the Department.

2. No voter may be registered in more than one voter list for a single polling station.

3. The voter lists shall be organized for males and females in a manner that guarantees the display of voters in every polling station.

4. The Executive Instructions shall set out the data that must be included in the preliminary voter list.

B. The Commission shall display the preliminary voter lists supplied to it by the Department on the Commission’s website and by any means the Commission deems appropriate to inform the public. Every head of election committee shall be supplied with the preliminary voter lists in his/her district, and the head of elections must display them for seven days in the areas outlined in the Executive Instructions for the voters to see them. Their display locations shall be announced in two local daily newspapers.

C. 1. Every person whose name does not appear on the voter lists or who had a mistake in his/her personal data in the lists may submit a request to the head of elections in the district to include his/her name in the list or correct the mistake in his/her data, or to amend his/her polling center.

2. The voter whose name appears in the preliminary voter lists may object in writing to the Commission according to the procedures stipulated in the Executive Instructions on the registration of others in the preliminary voter lists within his/her district, attaching the documents and data proving the validity of his/her objection.

3. The request or objection stipulated in items (1) and (2) of this paragraph shall be submitted within a period not to exceed ten days as of the day following the date when the heads of election committees displayed the preliminary voter lists.

D. The Commission must decide on the applications and objections submitted to it pursuant to paragraph F of this article within ten days from the day following the end of the preliminary voter lists’ display.

E. The Commission shall display the lists relevant to the results of the objections and requests submitted to it for three days through the heads of the election committees in the locations designated in the Executive Instructions for the voters to see them.

F. The decisions of the Commission pursuant to paragraph E of this article shall be subject to challege by the person or voter relevant to the request or the objection before the Court of First Instance in whose jurisdiction the district falls, within a period not to exceed three days as of the day following the date of the end of the display in the designated locations.

G. The Courts of First Instance shall decide on the challenges submitted to them in accordance with the paragraph F of this Article within seven days from the day following the day of receipt by the Court Administration. The decisions of the court shall be final.

H. The Court shall supply the Commission with a copy of its decision within three days as of the day following their date of issue. The Commission shall send copies of these decisions to the Department for the necessary action to be taken to correct the preliminary voter lists within seven days as of the day following the date of receipt in accordance with Executive Instructions issued for this purpose.

I. After the conclusion of the procedures and deadlines stipulated in this Article and the corrections are made according to the decisions taken, the Department shall send the voter lists to the Commission.

J. When the Board of Commissioners adopts the voter lists sent it to by the Department in accordance with the paragraph I of this Article, these voter lists shall be considered final voter lists according to which the elections are held.

K. The Commission shall publish the final voter lists on its website and by any other means outlined in the Executive Instructions, and shall supply every head of election committees with the final voter lists in their district.

L. The Commission shall, in coordination with the Department, update the voter lists in accordance with instructions issued by the Board of Commissioners for this purpose.  

 

Article 15 – The Commission shall manage all phases of the electoral process pursuant to its Law, including the following:

  1. Draft a budget for the electoral process and submit it to the Cabinet for approval.

  2. Appoint the heads and members of election committees.

  3. Form the necessary committees for the electoral process.

  4. Approve timelines for the processes of development of voter and candidate lists.

  5. Identify the entities, locations, and means through which voter lists and candidate names are announced.

  6. Adopt the specifications of the ballot boxes, ballot papers, official stamps of the polling and counting committee and the electoral process forms.

  7. Adopt final voter lists.

  8. Coordinate with the Ministry to draft a security plan to guarantee the safety of the electoral process.

  9. Identify Polling centers in the district and the number of polling stations in each center.

  10. Develop principles for accrediting candidate representatives at polling centers, means of objecting the procedures and decisions of polling and counting committees, and granting the necessary licenses for this in accordance with Executive Instructions issued for this purpose.

  11. Develop principles for accrediting representatives of relevant civil society organizations, journalists and any local and international observers to look into and observe the electoral process, and grant the necessary licenses for this in accordance with Executive Instructions issued for this purpose.

  12. Consider candidate applications referred to it by the election committees and decide on them.   

  13. Form one or more committees to check the preliminary election results.

  14. Endorse, announce and publish the final results of the elections in the Official Gazette.

  15. Consider any matter presented to it with regards to the electoral process and take appropriate decisions and measure in their regard.

 

Article 16

A. Every district shall have, as per a decision of the board of commissioners, an election committee whose chair and members shall be appointed in the decision to form it.

B. The heads and members of the election committees shall take an oath upon assuming their duties before the Chair of the Commission's Board of Commissioners or one of the Commissioners who are mandated for this purpose, as follows:

"I swear by Almighty God to undertake the duties with which I am charged with honesty, integrity, and impartiality".

C. The election committee shall undertake the following duties and powers:

  1. Receive the voter lists from the Commission and display them.

  2. Open and equip an operations room to manage the electoral process in the district.

  3. Receive candidate applications and refer them to the Commission.

  4. Form polling and counting committees and any other support committees.

  5. Supply polling and counting committees with the electoral process requirements.

  6. Provide the Commission with all electoral process papers, requirements, records and minutes according to the procedures outlined in the Executive Instructions issued for this purpose.

  7. Any other duties as charged by the Commission.

 

Article 17

A. The election of the members of the council shall be done publically, confidentially and directly.

B. Each voter shall have two votes if the district has more than one seat.

 

Article 18 – Voters are prohibited from using their right to vote more than once.

 

Article 19

A. The candidate running for membership in a council shall fulfill the following conditions:

  1. Shall be a Jordanian for at least the last 10 years.

  2. Shall be registered in the final voter lists in his/her district.

  3. Shall have fulfilled twenty five calendar years of age on the election day.

  4. Shall not be convicted of bankruptcy without having regained legal standing.

  5. Shall not be convicted of a felony, a dishonorable offense, a public morality offence, or abuse of credit, even if pardoned.

  6. Shall not belong to any non-Jordanian political entity or party.  

B. The conditions detailed in paragraph A of this Article shall be fulfilled by the appointed members into the council.

 

Article 20 – The below are prohibited from running for membership in the council, unless they submit their resignation 15 days prior to date set for candidacy:

  1. Members of the parliament.

  2. Ministers and staff of ministries, government departments and official and public institutions and entities.

  3. The Mayor of Amman, the members of the municipal council and employees of the municipality.

  4. The heads, members or employees of municipal and local councils.

  5. Employees of Arab, regional or international agencies.

 

Article 21

A. Candidacy for the membership of the council shall begin on the date set by the Commission, provided that it precedes the day set for elections by thirty days at least, and shall last for three days during official working hours, including official holidays. No candidate application shall be accepted if submitted after the conclusion of this period.

B. Candidacy for the membership of the council shall be in one district only.

 

Article 22 – Anyone wishing stand for the elections of the council’s membership shall pay to the Ministry of Finance or any of its directorates the amount of two hundred and fifty Jordanian dinars that shall be recorded as treasury revenue, which is non- refundable.

 

Article 23

A. The candidate application shall be submitted by the candidacy applicant in person to the head of the election committee on the form adopted by the Board of Commissioners along with the supporting documents and all data required pursuant to this Law and the Executive Instructions issued pursuant to it. The applicant shall be given a notice of application receipt.  

B. The head of the election committee shall refer candidacy applications and supporting documents to the Board of Commissioners every day by the means designated in the Executive Instructions. The Board of Commissioners shall issue its decision to accept or reject the application within seven days as the day following the deadline for submitting candidacy applications.

C. 1. If the Board of Commissioners decides to reject the candidacy application, it shall justify the rejection. The head of elections shall notify the candidacy applicant of the rejection decision via the means designated in the Executive Instructions.

2. The candidacy applicant whose candidacy application is rejected may challenge the rejection decision before the Court of First Instance in whose jurisdiction the district lies within three days as of the day following the date of the rejection’s notification, attaching by the support documents for his challenge.

3. The competent court shall decide on the challenge within three days as of the day following the date the court administration receives the challenge. Its decision on the challenge shall be final and may not be challenged before any other authority.

4. The court shall supply the Commission with copies of its decisions within three days as of the day following their issuance.

 

Article 24

A. The Commission shall record candidacy applications that are accepted by the Board of Commissioners or those accepted by the Court of First Instance in a special record for every district separately according to the date and time of submitting them. The Commission shall organize a list of the names of candidates on the basis of that record in accordance with Executive Instructions issued for this purpose.

B. The Commission shall display the names of the candidates whose applications were accepted on the Commission’s website and in the locations set by the Executive Instructions. The Board of Commissioners shall publish those names in two local daily newspapers.

C. 1. Every voter has the right to challenge the decision of the Board of Commissioners to accept the candidacy of any of the candidates in his/her district before the Court of First Instance in whose jurisdiction the district lies.

2. The challenge stipulated in item 1 of this Paragraph shall be submitted with three days as of the day following the date of displaying the candidates’ names stipulated in paragraph B of this Article, provided it includes support documents for the challenge.

3. The Court shall decide on this challenge within three days as of the day following the date of receipt by the court’s administration, and its decision in this regard shall be final, and may not challenged before any other authority.

D. The Court shall supply the Commission with copies of its decisions with two days as of the day following their issuance. The Board of Commissioners shall take the necessary measures to display the amendments made to the names of the candidates in accordance with the First Instance Court’s decisions in the same manner through which the names of the candidates were displayed pursuant to paragraph B of this Article. These names shall be the final ones for the candidates and they shall be published on the Commission’s website and by any other means deemed appropriate by the Board of Commissioners to inform the voters.

 

Article 25

A. If the period of candidacy comes to an end and it is found that the number of candidates in the district is equal to the number of seats allocated for it, the Board of Commissioners shall announce those candidates winners by acclamation.

B. If the number of candidates in the district is less than the number of seats allocated for that district, the Cabinet may, at the recommendation of the Minister, fill the remaining seats of the council from among those registered in the final voter lists who fulfill the conditions for candidacy as stipulated in this Law.

 

Article 26 – All claims, objections and challenges that are submitted as per this Law, the regulations issued pursuant to it and the decisions issued in their regard by the committees, entities and courts shall be exempted from any fees or stamps, including challenge fees related to pleadings of unconstitutionality and power of attorney’s fees.

 

Article 27

A. The campaigning shall be free pursuant to the provisions of this Law and the regulations issued pursuant to it. It shall be permitted from the date of candidacy according to this Law, and shall conclude with the end of the day preceding the day set for the elections.

B. The provisions, principles and controls on campaigning, including controls on campaigning’s spending, shall be set in the Executive Instructions issued by the Commission for this purpose.

 

Article 28

A. The Board of Commissioners shall issue a decision identifying the Polling centers in the district and the number of polling stations in every center. The decision shall be published in two local daily newspapers at least and in any place or by any means it deems appropriate.

B. The polling shall begin at seven a.m. of the designated day for the elections and shall end at seven p.m. The Board or its delegate may issue a decision extending the polling time at any district for no more than two hours if deemed necessary.

C. The procedures of appointing chairs and members of polling and counting committees, the polling processes, the use of the indelible ink, electronic linkage for the polling centers, the voting of illiterates and disabled persons, the procedures of counting, filling in of polling and counting forms and the final counting, the announcement of results, packing and transfer of ballot papers and forms and other provisions and procedures on these process shall be set in executive instructions developed by the Commission for this purpose.

D. Entry to the polling and counting centers is banned for unauthorized persons under the provisions of this law; the chair of polling and counting committee may request the public security personnel to evict the violator out of the center immediately.

 

Article 29

A. The ballot paper shall be considered invalid in any of the following cases:

1. If it is not stamped with the district stamp or of it is not signed by the chair of the polling and counting committee.

2. If it includes certain phrases or additions that indicate the name of the voter.

3. If the names written on it cannot be read because they are not clear.

4. If the ballot paper includes more candidate names than the number of seats allocated in that district.

B. If the name of a single candidate is repeated on the ballot paper, it shall be counted once.

C. If, after counting the votes, it appears that the number of ballot papers stamped and signed by the chair of the polling and counting committee is more or less than the number of the actual voters in that polling station by 2%, the chair of the polling and counting committee shall in this case notify the head of the elections of this, who in turn shall inform the Chairman of the Commission so that the Board of Commissioners shall take the appropriate decision in that regard.

 

Article 30 – If the Commission finds a problem in the polling and counting process in any of the polling centers, which may impact the preliminary results of the elections in the district, it may cancel the results of the elections in the relevant district and re-conduct the polling or the counting or both at the time and by the means it deems appropriate.

 

Article 31 – The head of the elections committee shall undertake the following:

A. Announce the preliminary results of the elections so that whomever is considered a winner of the elections at the district, is the person who attained the highest votes, and in accordance to the number of allocated seats to that district; if there was a tie between two or more candidates and it was impossible to identify the winner(s) then the head of the elections committee shall draw lots between them on the a day established by the Commission.

B. Submit three copies of the final counting forms of the district to the Commission.

 

Article 32

A. The voter or candidate may file a challenge at the Court of Appeal in whose jurisdiction the district falls in regarding the results of the council elections in his/her district within 15 days as of the day of publishing the elections results in the Official Gazette outlining the reasons for the challenge.

B. The court of appeal in whose jurisdiction the district is located shall consider the challenges submitted to it on the validity of the election results pertaining to that district. It shall issue its rule to accept or reject it, and in that case it shall announce the name of the winner, within no more than thirty days from the date of its submission. Its decision shall be final and the court shall inform the Board of Commissioners of its decision as soon as it is issued.

C. The actions undertaken by the member before the court of appeal revoked his membership shall be deemed valid.

D. If it became apparent to the court of appeal, after considering the challenge submitted to it that the procedures of the elections that were conducted in the district of the challenge are not in line with the provisions of the law, it shall issue its decision to cancel the elections in that district and the court shall inform the Commission of its decision.

 

Article 33

A. The governor shall summon the council to convene for its first meeting within a period that does not exceed thirty days as of the date of the announcement of the elections’ results in the Official Gazette. The session shall be chaired by the eldest member and the council shall elect a chairman, vice chairman and chairman’s assistant from among its members by direct secret voting.

B. 1. The winner of the positions of chairman of the council, vice chairman and assistant shall be the persons who won the highest number of votes by those in attendance. If there is a tie among two or more candidates, a draw shall take place.

2. The term of the chairman, vice chairman and assistant is two years.

C. The vice chairman shall exercise the authorities of the chairman in the event of his/her absence.

 

Article 34

A. A member in the council shall lose his/her membership legally in either of the following cases:

  1. If he/she loses any of the candidacy conditions stipulated in this Law.

  2. If he/she worked as a lawyer, expert or consultant in a case against the council or if he/she developed an interest in any of the development, investment or service projects the council is considering for approval.

B. The council member shall lose his/her membership by a decision taken by the council if he/she is absent in three consecutive sessions without a legal excuse accepted by the council.

C. The member shall submit a written resignation to the council and it shall be considered valid as of the date of its acceptance by the council.

 

Article 35 –

A. If a member position becomes vacant in any of the events stipulated in this Article, the chairman of the council shall inform the Governor and the Commission of this within a period of no more than ten days of the vacancy of the position and of the name of the candidate succeeding him/her in membership as per this Law. This shall be published in the Official Gazette.

B. In the event that the elected member’s seat becomes vacant due to resignation, death or loss of membership, then the candidate who is next in line in terms of highest votes in the district shall take over that seat provided that he/she still fulfills the candidacy conditions, or else the next in line. If no candidate is available, the Minister shall appoint a member from the voters of that district to fill in the vacant seat who fulfills the candidacy conditions. The membership acquired pursuant to this Article shall continue until the council’s term ends.

 

Article 36

A. The council is considered dissolved if more than half of its elected positions become vacant.

B. The Cabinet may, based on the Minister’s recommendation, dissolve the council before the end of its term in any of the following cases:

  1. Grave violation of the law

  2. Fundamental disruption of tasks or roles it is mandated with.

  3. Commission of any violation that seriously harms the interests of the governorate or the Kingdom.

C. The Cabinet may, in any of the cases outlined in paragraph (a) or (b) of this Article, and based on a recommendation of the Minister, appoint a provincial committee that shall continue to work until the end of the dissolved council’s term.

D. No less than one third of the members of the dissolved council may, as per the provisions of paragraph (b) of this Article, appeal the decision of dissolution before the administrative court within fifteen days as of the date of Cabinet’s decision to dissolve the council.

 

Article 37

A. Anyone who commits the following acts shall be sentenced imprisonment for no less than six months and no more than two years or a fine of no less than one thousand JD and no more than five thousand JD or both of these penalties:

  1. Carried a firearm, even if licensed, or any tool that constitutes a danger to public security and safety in any polling centers on election day.

  2. Affected the freedom of elections or hindered the electoral process in any way.

  3. Tampered with any of the ballot boxes, the voter lists, or ballot papers, or stole any of these lists or ballots, destroyed them, did not place them in the box, or undertook any act with the aim of undermining the safety, procedures or secrecy of the polling.

  4. Affected the electoral process, delayed it or hindered it, or harmed any of its officials.

  5. Used force or threats of material or moral harm, kidnapping, detention or fraud whether directly or through others, to coerce a voter to participate in the polling or refrain from participating in it.

  6. Used any method of coercion or temptation to make someone commit a crime punishable by this Law.  

B. Anyone who commits the following acts shall be punished with imprisonment for no less than three months and no more than one year, or a fine of no less than five hundred JD and no more than three thousand JD, or both of these penalties:

  1. Refrained from leaving the polling center if requested to do so by the chair of the polling and counting committee.

  2. Alleged inability to write or illiteracy although he/she is not so.

  3. Violated the provisions, principles and controls on campaigning as stipulated in Executive Instructions issued for this purpose.  

  4. Kept someone else's ballot paper without the right to do so, took it, hid it, or destroyed it.

  5. Impersonated someone else or used someone else’s name with the purpose of voting.

  6. Used his right to vote more than once.

  7. Published or broadcasted before or during the election false information on the behavior or ethics of a candidate with the aim of influencing the election results.

 

Article 38 – Any member or members of the committees appointed in accordance with this Law or the regulations issued pursuant to it mandated with preparing the voter lists, their organization or revision, or with conducting voting or counting processes, or tallying the votes, or any employees or contractors mandated with undertaking these operations or supervising them pursuant to this Law and the regulations issued pursuant to it shall be punished with imprisonment for no less than one year and no more than three years in the event of committing any of the following acts:

  1. If he/she deliberately enters the name of any person on any of the voter lists without having the right to be a voter pursuant to this Law, or deliberately deletes or refuses to enter the name of a person on those lists although he/she has the right to be registered on them as a voter pursuant to this Law.

  2. If he/she includes false information on the candidacy application or the date of the application, or in any form organized pursuant to this Law and the regulations issued pursuant to it, or the objection submitted against the voter list or any other document organized pursuant to this Law and the regulations issued pursuant to it.

  3. If he/she takes any document relevant to the election without the right to do so, hid it, or forged it.  

  4. If he/she delayed without legitimate cause the start time of the election process from the set time for it or stopped it without justification before the time set for ending it pursuant to this Law and the regulations issued pursuant to it, or slowed down any of its procedures with the purpose of hindering or delaying it.  

  5. If he/she does not open the ballot box before the candidates or their representatives who are present, before starting the polling process, to make sure it is empty.

  6. If he/she reads the ballot paper falsely or in a manner that violates its contents.

  7. If he/she refrains from implementing any provision of this Law and the regulations issued pursuant to it related to the processes and procedures or voting or counting the votes, or violated any provision of this Law with the aim of affecting the results of the elections set pursuant to its provisions.

 

Article 39 – Anyone who commits the following acts shall be punished with imprisonment with temporary hard labour for no less than three years and no more than seven years:

A. Gave a voter directly or indirectly or lent, offered or pledged to give him/her a sum of money or benefit or anything else in return for ensuring he/she will vote in a certain way or refrain from voting or for influencing others to vote or refrain from voting.

B. Accepted or requested directly or indirectly a sum of money, a loan, an interest or anything else in return for himself/herself or for someone else with the intention of making him/her vote in particular way or refrain from voting or influencing others to vote or refrain from voting.

 

Article 40 – Anyone who takes or attempts to take a ballot box before the votes inside it are counted or after they are counted shall be punished with imprisonment with temporary hard labor for no less than five years and no more than ten years.

 

Article 41 – Anyone who commits any violation of the this Law or any regulations issued pursuant to it for which no specific penalty has been decided shall be punished with imprisonment for no less than three months and no more than one year or a fine no less than two hundred JD and no more than five hundred JD, or both of these penalties.  

 

Article 42

A. The provisions of this Law shall not prevent the application of any stricter punishment stipulated by any other valid law.

B. Any accomplice, accessory or provoker of the commission of a crime stipulated in this Law shall be punished by the same punishment decided for the perpetrator.

 

Article 43 – The statute of limitations for all the election crimes stipulated in this Law shall expire five years after the date the election results are announced.

 

Article 44 – For the purposes of implementing this law and the regulations and rules issued pursuant to it, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, its members, the heads of the election committees and their members, and the chairs of the polling and counting committees, as per this Law are deemed judicial police as per the provisions of the valid Law of Criminal Procedures, and thus have the authority of seize any crimes committed in violation of this Law.

 

Article 45

A. The governorates councils are elected for the first time on the date that is designated by the Commission.

B. The provisions pertaining to the duties and powers of the governor, forming the executive council and its powers stipulated in this Law shall come into effect from the date the governorate councils start their terms in accordance with this Law.

 

Article 46 – The Council of Ministers shall adopt the necessary regulations for the implementation of this Law.

 

Article 47 - The Prime Minister and the Ministers are mandated with the implementation of this Law.