Riots erupt in aftermath of Jordan elections

Residents of four towns and a Palestinian refugee camp throw stones, burn tires after loyalists sweep Jordanian parliament.

November 11, 2010 13:13
1 minute read.
Jordanian candidate greets voter.

Jordan Election 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Riots broke out in towns north of Amman to protest the results of parliamentary elections, a Jordanian official said Thursday.

Police spokesman Maj. Mohammed al-Khatib said about 400 people in four towns and a fifth site near a Palestinian refugee camp protested on roads late Wednesday, burning tires, smashing vehicles, and pelting security forces with stones. There were no reports of injuries.

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One of the demonstrations took place on a highway linking Amman to Syria. Al-Khatib said police fired tear gas at the protesters on the highway and in one of the towns to restore order early Thursday.

Official preliminary election results showed ex-lawmakers and Cabinet ministers sweeping a third of Jordan's new 120-seat parliament in an election marred by unrest and an Islamist opposition boycott.

Jordan's election commission released the figures Wednesday.

The preliminary results from Tuesday's vote show 34 former deputies, including at least 20 Cabinet officials and ex-Prime Minister Faisal al-Fayez, won seats.

At least 74 progressive politicians and businessmen new to Jordanian politics also earned a spot in parliament. Many of those winners appeared to be government loyalists.

The election is the fourth under King Abdullah II, a key US ally who ascended to the throne in 1999 vowing to transform his desert Arab kingdom into a model democracy in the Muslim world.

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