Two very different elections took place in Jordan on Wednesday.
One set were touted as a major step on the country's process to reform, an exercise in citizenship, a day of national pride, by a regime and its supporters anxious to get out the message that under King Abdullah democratisation is really underway. The multiple media outlets, public, private, as well as social, were awash with messages of voter pride, national feeling and praise of the perfect organisation of the polls. As polling came to a close in Amman, loyalists gathered throughout the city to celebrate their victory. Not at party headquarters like elsewhere in the world where the faithful gather to cheer their party's results, but instead at community buildings, hotels, bars and private residences. The point was all too clear: parties did not matter, the actual results of the election were also of secondary importance (although presumably not for the candidates themselves); instead what counted was that the elections had gone off smoothly, a new parliament was elected and Jordan's democratisation had been displayed.