AMMAN - Jordan's King Abdullah instructed parliament on Thursday to reconvene next month to amend a controversial election law that has provoked Islamist disaffection and a potential boycott of polls that could deal a blow to democratic reforms.

A palace statement said the monarch's message was conveyed in a meeting with heads of the lower and upper houses of parliament, composed mainly of pro-government deputies with strong tribal backing.

"The king instructed convening an extraordinary session of parliament at the start of next month to undertake changes in the election law to ensure wider political representation on the level of the nation," a palace statement said.

The monarch's intervention could dissuade the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political wing of Muslim Brotherhood and by far the largest organised political grouping, to withdraw a threat to boycott elections after the law was approved by parliament.

Unlike demands for ousting longstanding rulers in popular uprisings that have swept the Arab world, protests in Jordan have focused on holding free elections and fighting corruption.

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