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Workshop: The Path of Political Parties to Local Communities
26.07.2023
  • Al-Quds Center for Political Studies in its "National Campaign for Encouraging Participation and Reducing Abstention."
  • The activities of Al-Baqa’a camp - Ain Al-Basha examine the reasons for the lack of participation and the decline in the voter turnout.

The Al-Quds Center for Political Studies continues its national campaign “Enhancing participation and reducing abstention”, which aims to raise levels of political and civic participation in the public sphere and increase voter turnout in the general elections, especially in the constituencies and governorates where the voter turnout is low.

In this context, the Al-Quds Center for Political Studies organized a workshop  in the Al-Baqa’a Cultural Forum hall entitled: The Path of Political Parties to Local Communities, with the participation of more than 70 local activists from the Al-Baqa’a district- Ain Al-Basha, representing a wide spectrum of civil society activists, community leaders, youth, women and representatives of political parties and various civil associations.

Professor Oraib Al-Rantawi, Director General of the Al-Quds Center for Political Studies, opened the workshop with an introductory speech in which he referred to the importance and role of local communities in stimulating the map of political modernization and partisan participation, explaining that this meeting was part of a series of meetings that the center has been organizing in the various constituencies, in an effort to meet the currently active partisan movement and raise participation rates in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Al-Rantawi stressed the importance of investing in the opportunity and the available space, indicating the existence of an active partisan movement that we have not seen before, represented by the activity of political parties and their effectiveness in exporting positions and issuing analytical papers related to issues that concern public opinion, in addition to the interaction of the parties to the regional scene, especially with regards to the Palestinian issue, noting that participation and involvement in political parties contributes to increasing Jordan's strength in facing external challenges.

Al-Rantawi called for the need to raise the turnout rate in the upcoming elections to beyond 30%. According to him, this percentage must rise. He noted the need to focus on all groups and segments of society, including people with disabilities.

For his part, the head of the Al-Baqa’a Cultural Forum, Mr. Shaher Al-Nuseirat, welcomed the attendees in his speech and reaffirmed the importance of the outputs of the Royal Commission and the role of election law and political parties in advancing the vision of political modernization, stressing that the doors of the forum are open to various parties for dialogue with local community.

During her speech, Ms. Abla Abu Elba, First Secretary of the People's Democratic Party pointed to the importance of engaging in political parties as the only way forward for effective political participation and the formation of a strong parliament capable of setting public policies to address the economic and social challenges that haunt the masses of citizens. She also touched on the presence of difficulties that hinder involvement in political parties, and these difficulties were attributed to the historical circumstances in which political partisan life has experienced in the past decades.

Abu Elba called on the local community to pay attention to local laws and legislations because of their impact on the lives of Jordanians, such as the cybercrime law and the real estate property law, as she indicated the importance of the role of parties in presenting proposed programs and solutions to files and issues that are central to public interests.

The Secretary-General of the Future and Life Party, Dr. Salah Al-Qudah, indicated in his intervention that affiliation with political parties is the only way to achieve political reform, indicating that The Future and Life Party is classified as a center-right party, as it is a conservative programmatic party whose work is based on a political, economic and social program, and the judges indicated that the party is characterized by its openness towards all partisan and political currents, stressing the necessity of forming partisan coalitions run for elections.

In terms of expanding the membership base, the judges highlighted the importance of the party's branches spread across governorates that work on defining the party and its program, listening to observations from the local community. They stressed that addressing economic and living problems such as the unemployment crisis through a development program that works to create job opportunities in the governorates.

A large number of male and female participants submitted questions and interventions centered on the weakness of political parties in persuading citizens to join their ranks and their inability to pay attention to social groups such as the disabled who make up about 12% of the population.

The participants also stressed the importance of giving space to young people and stopping the personalization of political parties which reduces them to specific names, as this has negative effects on the demand for political parties.

The workshop aimed to identify the reality and working mechanisms of political parties in expanding their circles of membership in addition to finding out the parties' vision for the next stage, in light of the outputs of the Royal Commission to Modernize the Political System that have produced a new law for parties and elections which allocates 41 seats of the House of Representatives to the party list. It also approves a system for partisan work within higher education institutions which indicates that political life has entered a new phase in which partisan life occupies a major space.