The State of the CRPD & Voting Rights in Jordan

June 25, 2012

Takafo Campaign one of the unique civil society campaigns led by PwDs in Jordan has another record at the legislative level regarding the elections as follows:

1-. the campaign succeeded to change the election law now based on article

29 of the CRPD. the senate has approved article (41) which states that; PwDs shall vote through their personal assistants in accordance to the adopted rules and general principles for others. PwDs previously were voting in a very strange way; as they go to the polling station without any personal assistant then they announce their candidate's name in front of the electoral committee which is composed of 3 members, then the committee put the ballot in the box. in 2010, Takafo campaign convinced the ministry of interior affairs to amend the instructions in order to allow PwDs to vote through their personal assistants as one of the obligations stated in article 29, article 3 and article 4 of the CRPD. the campaign demanded accessible polling stations and sign language interpreters in sufficient number of polling stations throughout the country. the ministry approved these demands and the campaign had monitored/observed the elections in 2010 through volunteers whom were trained by the campaign in all governorates.

the campaign was concerned that these demands might vanish in the future if the law is not going to amended, hence, we exerted a huge effort with the legal committee in the parliament to incorporate a specific article to ensure these demands. now article 41 of the election law ensure for PwDs to vote through their personal assistants and the article points out that there shall be executive instructions to organize the voting process requirements for PwDs, these instructions will ensure accessibility and reasonable accommodation.

2-. the second big achievement is; that the campaign advocated as well to abolish the provisions related to the voting process for illiterate voters who "shall take an oath: I swear solemnly by Almighty God that I'm illiterate / can not write...", then the voter as the case of PwDs shall announce their candidates' names to the committee. Takafo campaign believes that such a practice represents a clear violation for the right to secrecy and independency as stated in the international bill of human rights and the constitutional principles. after several meetings and analysis letters to the legal committee in the parliament, the final version of the election law as adopted by the senate in article 40; recognizes that those voters shall vote in secrecy and independency in accordance with the constitutional principles as proposed by the campaign.

    Takafo will launch a new advocacy initiative very soon based on the recommendations resulted in the CRPD civil society report.

 for further information about Takafo first campaign in 2010, you can watch the short documentary at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXEBMOUZ7PQ

and for more information about the campaign in general and some of its documents including the final report of the observation process for the polling stations in 2010 in addition to media materials, you can visit:

http://www.takafo.org

last but not least, you can always read the final version of the CRPD status report launched by the civil society coalition in Arabic and English at:

http://www.crpdjordan.org