NORDEM election observers to Jordan

NORDEM is sending two observers to Jordan for the General Elections on 20 September - Hans Christen Knævelsrud and Kristina Johansen.

Christen Knævelsrud, Sissel Breie (Norway's Ambassador to Jordan), and Kristina Johansen. Photo: Susanne Flølo

The observers were briefed prior to departure by Norway's Ambassador to Jordan, Sissel Breie. Hans Christen Knævelsrud will be deployed as a long-term observer, and Kristina Johansen as a short-term observer.

"Being a long term observer is very interesting. You get an amazing insight after a fairly short period of time. Besides, it is a great opportunity to meet different people and you learn a lot," says Knævelsrud.

Collaboration is key

Apart from being NORDEM’s chosen candidate for the LTO mission, Knævelsrud is a political scientist specializing in the Middle East and refugees. He is also an experienced fieldworker with several LTO-missions in the past.

"My best advice to new observers would be to ensure a good collaboration with your team partner in the field.You have an important role in creating a positive environment, even if you and your partner might not be the perfect match to begin with. And you should always meet others with respect, like you would like to be met yourself," Knævelsrud encourages.

On her third mission

Kristina Johansen is a social anthropologist who has been working with human rights in Colombia. She has been a freelance journalist in Lebanon, and lately she has been focusing on the Middle East and young refugees. The Jordanian election will be Johansen’s third STO mission.

"I have previously been on mission with the OSCE, so I’m excited to learn more about how the EU does it. That will be a new experience for me. The fact that the mission is in Jordan makes it particularly exciting because of my academic background." she adds.

The election observation process

The observers will be monitoring campaign activities, candidate registration and the work of the election administration and relevant governmental bodies. They will also be monitoring election-related legislation and its implementation, the media environment, and the resolution of election-related disputes in the country.

The observers report their findings to the management of the EU mission. The reports are the basis for a statement and a final summary report issued by the EU after the elections.

How to become a NORDEM election observer

Published Sep. 9, 2016 3:33 PM - Last modified Sep. 15, 2016 4:29 PM