Jordan sets Nov. 9 as parliamentary election date

Jordan's cabinet set Nov. 9 as the date for a parliamentary election under a new voting system.

Jordan sets Nov. 9 as parliamentary election date

 

Jordan's cabinet set Nov. 9 as the date for a parliamentary election under a new voting system seen as eroding national party politics and promoting representation based on tribal allegiances.

King Abdullah abruptly dissolved parliament last November after it completed half of its four-year term and called for an early election by 2010.

No official reason was given at the time for the dissolution of what was considered a rubber stamp assembly, composed of 110 mainly tribal pro-government loyalists, but politicians said it had lost credibility through its inept handling of legislation.

A month later, the king appointed a government led by palace aide Samir al-Rifai, scion of a powerful conservative family, with a mandate to bring genuine political reforms and broader representation.

The last parliament was elected in November 2007 under an electoral law that reduced the representation of largely Palestinian-dominated cities, which are Islamic strongholds, in favour of rural and Bedouin areas.

The only national party represented in that parliament was the opposition Islamic Action Front, which had six deputies. Several dozen tribal deputies were loosely allied in two major pro-government parliamentary blocs, while a handful of independent politicians and Islamists were also elected.

The Islamist opposition alongside independent politicians and liberals say successive governments have failed to deliver political liberalisation.

The kingdom unveiled last month a revised election law that analysts say boosts tribalism and discourages nationally orientated parties.

However the new law does respond to some key reformist demands by adding four seats in Amman, Irbid and Zarqa, all major cities with large Palestinian populations and historically under-represented in parliament.

Other changes have added 10 parliamentary seats and doubled the quota for women's representation to 12 from six.

Reuters

Last Mod: 16 Haziran 2010, 08:33
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