Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Islamists Cry Foul as Pro-Govt MPs Sweep Jordan Vote - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

AMMAN (AFP) – Pro-government candidates were on course to sweep Jordan’s election, initial results showed on Wednesday, but the Islamists charged the vote was rigged and doubted the high turnout figure.

Only one of seven Islamist candidates who registered as independents, defying a boycott by the opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF), won a seat in the lower house of parliament in Tuesday’s poll.

Ahmad Qudah was elected in Ajlun, north of the capital, with more than 6,000 votes.

Violence marred the election day, with a 25-year-old man shot dead and two others wounded in clashes between rival supporters in the southern city of Karak, police said.

Clashes also broke out in different parts of the kingdom, including Amman.

The new lower house, with a strong showing by tribal-linked candidates, will have 13 women MPs. Reem Badran, an economist and daughter of a former premier, won a seat outside a quota system which reserves 12 seats for women.

Interior Minister Nayef Qadai was due to announce the official results at midday (1000 GMT).

“The government has announced a 53-percent turnout but in my opinion the actual turnout did not exceed 30 percent,” IAF leader Hamzah Mansur told AFP.

“The new lower house will not be better this time as vote-buying and fraud played a major role in the election.”

The IAF boycotted the vote in protest at constituency boundaries set under a new electoral law adopted in May.

It says these over-represent rural areas considered loyal to the government at the expense of urban areas regarded as Islamist strongholds. The IAF says the law has returned Jordan to a previous controversial voting system.

But Prime Minister Samir Rifai said the turnout showed that “the boycott did not have an impact on voting.”

Around 2.5 million Jordanians were eligible to vote, with 763 candidates vying for a four-year term in the 120-seat lower house of parliament.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube