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Amman’s elderly say voting is ‘national duty’

By Sawsan Tabazah - Sep 20,2016 - Last updated at Sep 20,2016

A senior citizen casts his ballot at a polling station in Amman on Tuesday (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Several voters from Amman’s older generation said they felt it was their “national duty” to head to the ballot box, at a polling station in the capital on Tuesday.  

As Jordanians across the Kingdom voted to elect the 18th Lower House, 73-year-old Suad Kiswani placed her vote in Amman’s 3rd District for the candidate she believed would bring change and serve the public. 

“Leaving home to give my vote to a man who will serve people is a pleasure,” she told The Jordan Times.  

At the same polling station, Michael Sawalha, 83, said voting is a “national, religious and moral duty”, and a joy, while 72-year-old Mohammad Jarrah said he voted because “there is hope” for change and reform. 

For 80-year-old Nael Hashem, voting is an essential part of the democratic process. 

“We want [MPs] who can represent us, express honest opinions and benefit our country,” Hashem said.   

Sameeh Al Faraj said that in previous elections, he had chosen candidates based on their tribes or family names.

This time, he is considering the candidates’ electoral programme as well, and voted for a candidate with a plan for young people. 

Meanwhile, a 76-year-old at the polling station agreed that voting is a duty, and said nothing would stop him from placing his ballot. 

 “Even if I had to come on a wheelchair, I wouldn’t hesitate to do this national duty,” he said. 

An elderly taxi driver, whose polling station is in Sahab, told The Jordan Times he would vote after work for a distant relative, whom he heard is “a good man”.

“All we have to do is give our votes to those we think are good enough to represent us, although the faces [of the candidates] have stayed the same for so long,” he added. 

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