Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Muslim Brotherhood Ends 9-Year Boycott of Jordan Elections | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Jordanian police officer stands guard in front of the parliament in Amman. Reuters

Amman-The Muslim Brotherhood propelled back into Jordan’s political arena after its political arm, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), announced participating at the upcoming Sep. 20 elections.

With 75 percent of the brotherhood approving the bloc’s return to Jordan’s political life, the elections would be witnessing the brotherhood’s participation at the elections for the first time after a nine-year boycott.

The move poses a great challenge for the government and its ability to gain back the trust of the public given that IAF supporters do not trust the political or electoral process of their country.

Mohammad al-Zayoud, IAF Secretary General, told Asharq Al Awsat newspaper that the decision concerning the Brotherhood’s political branch partaking in the elections came only after adopting an all-inclusive strategy to protect Jordan from harm’s way.

Zayoud added that the IAF’s ending of the elections boycott had been realized amid the formation of national, political, tribal and social alliances.

The Islamic Action Front (IAF) will run in the upcoming elections on 20 “national” lists.

These lists were formed under the “National Coalition for Reform” and cover most of the country’s constituencies, said Zaki Bani Rsheid, head of the IAF’s higher elections commission.

The IAF is the political arm of the old Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the only legitimate entity representing the seven-decade-old group that has been labeled illegal in Jordan after a rival, splinter group registered itself as the legitimate Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood was announced illegal and its offices were closed by authorities after a group of defectors registered the Muslim Brotherhood Society as a Jordanian entity, and managed to seize some of the group’s properties after winning lawsuits.

Zayoud expressed his aspirations on the upcoming elections representing a point for transformation of the way elections go in Jordan. When asked whether the elections will be transparent, Zayoud says that no clear guarantees are at hand, however, with the present statements of politicians, elections will be taking place in a pro-reliability atmosphere.

Nevertheless, Zayoud says that the IAF finds difficulty in convincing the public into voting, after it has been rendered convinced of the systematic forgeries during election season.