Skip to content

Discussing ways to enhance the political participation of persons with disabilities in upcoming parliamentary elections

2020-02-06

His Royal Highness Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al-Hussein, President of the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD), and Dr. Zuhair Abu Fares, member of the Board of the Commissioners of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), discussed steps and the necessary requirements to enable persons with disabilities to exercise their electoral rights in a confidential and independent manner by creating voting stations and providing reasonable accommodation.

During the meeting, His Royal Highness stressed on the importance of enhancing the political participation of persons with disabilities, since they represent a powerful and influential constituency in the field, enabling them to present their issues and rights on the candidates’ agendas  in the parliamentary and local elections.

The Prince also stressed the importance of making accessible polling stations to enable persons with disabilities to exercise their electoral rights on an equal basis with others.

Abu Fares pointed out that the Commission is very interested in facilitating the participation of persons with disabilities in the parliamentary elections, highlighting what the IEC is doing to prepare a number of polling stations in the coming months  to ensure the participation of persons with disabilities in the parliamentary elections, and train all election staff including voting and ballot counting committees on the rights of persons with disabilities and the etiquette of communicating with them in coordination with HCD. He also stressed the role of persons with disabilities in monitoring the implementation process of the elections in line with the mechanism approved by the Commission.

On its part, the IEC, in coordination with the HCD, shall allocate the minimum number of polling stations, equivalent to at least forty centers, as exemplary polling stations for persons with disabilities in the various electoral districts in the Kingdom that provide accessibility requirements and the necessary accommodations for persons with disabilities, such as providing Sign language interpreters. The IEC also works to make accessible the awareness-raising material in the lead up to and during the electoral process for persons with disabilities, and to transform the guidance materials into Braille and Sign language to be uploaded onto the Commission's website in order to encourage them to participate in the elections, in conformity with the provisions of the Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.