Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Jordan, Parliamentary Elections Set for Sept. 20 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Jordan’s Independent Elections Commission has set Sept. 20 as the date for parliamentary elections. Thursday’s announcement came less than two weeks after King Abdullah II dissolved the old parliament, paving the way for a new vote within four months. Voters will elect 130 members of parliament. Fifteen sees are guaranteed for women.

The elections come at a time when the main political opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, is disordered and muddled. Jordan also faces growing economic and security problems, caused in part by fallout from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Political reforms have been put on hold since.

Instead, the outgoing parliament adopted constitutional amendments earlier this year that further cement the king’s powers, giving him sole authority for appointing leaders of the security services and members of the constitutional court. Early general elections were held in Jordan on 23 January 2013, voter turnout was reported 56.6%.

Noteworthy, Jordanian security services closed the Amman headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood last month. Authorities in Jordan view the Brotherhood as an illegal organization since its license was not renewed in accordance with a political parties’ law adopted in 2014. The rise in militant Islam in the region has increasingly strained relations between the Brotherhood and the authorities.

The Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was formed in Egypt in 1928 and has affiliates across the region, has wide grassroots support in the kingdom.