Jordan King Abdullah 311.
(photo credit: AP)
The Muslim Brotherhood will not take part in Jordan’s general elections later
this year, the movement announced on Sunday.
The Islamic Action Front,
the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, said the likelihood of
electoral fraud made it impossible for the group to take part in the November 9
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“The decision was adopted by a large majority in the party
following consultations and a democratic vote,” said Sheikh Hamza Mansour,
spokesman for the Islamic Action Front. “The army received instructions by the
government to vote for certain candidates.”
“The last elections in 2007
were filled with irregularities and fraud,” he said. “The party will reconsider
its position if the government can provide guarantees for clean
“The government has emptied the term democracy from its
meaning” Mansour continued, arguing that the Jordanian parliament has become a
Christoph Wilcke, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, said
there had been claims of election fraud.
“In the previous elections there
were serious allegations of elections fraud and many people here in Jordan think
that the new election law is not going to provide a clear representation in
parliament,” Wilcke said.
A new election law came in to effect in May.
The Islamic Action Front argues the law discriminates against them as it favors
voters in rural areas, which traditionally vote for pro-government candidates,
as opposed to the cities where they have their strongest
Jordan’s rural areas are mostly Beduin, while the cities are
The electorate for the lower house of parliament,
known as the Chamber of Deputies, is divided into 12 constituencies.
candidates from rural areas may only represent 3,000 voters, while candidates
from Amman may represent 90,000 voters.
This had led the Islamic Action
Front to call for a one man, one vote system, abolishing the
The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has established a social
network where it provides services it says are being neglected by the
The upper house of the parliament, the Senate, has 55
members, all appointed by the king. When elections were held in 2007, six of the
22 candidates for the Islamic Action Front were elected, compared to 17 in
The upcoming elections will be held after King Abdullah dissolved
the parliament in November 2009 following complaints of widespread inefficiency
and allegations of corruption among some members of parliament.
Chamber of Deputies has 80 elected members representing 12
Of the 80 members, 71 must be Muslim, nine Christians and
three Circassian/Chechen. Six seats are specially for women.