Jor­dan polls tipped to see re­turn of Is­lamists

The Myanmar Times - - World -

JOR­DA­NI­ANS voted yes­ter­day in an elec­tion that could see op­po­si­tion Is­lamists re-emerge as a ma­jor par­lia­men­tary force in the key Western ally.

The fo­cus will be on turnout and per­for­mance of the Is­lamic Ac­tion Front, the po­lit­i­cal arm of Jor­dan’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.

Ex­perts ex­pect the party to clinch around 20 seats in the 130seat house, which would make it the largest op­po­si­tion.

The vote comes as Jor­dan wres­tles with the spillover of wars in Syria and Iraq, and the bur­den of host­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of refugees.

The king­dom is a mem­ber of the US-led coali­tion bat­tling ji­hadists in both neigh­bour­ing coun­tries and was the tar­get of a June 21 sui­cide bomb­ing claimed by the Is­lamic State group that killed seven bor­der guards.

The in­te­rior min­istry said 50,000 po­lice­men have been mo­bilised to en­sure se­cu­rity at polling sta­tions.

The Phenix Cen­tre, a lo­cal poll­ster, has said 42 per­cent of el­i­gi­ble vot­ers planned not to take part in the elec­tion, re­flect­ing a gen­eral lack of en­thu­si­asm for a par­lia­ment with limited pow­ers to af­fect pol­icy.

King Ab­dul­lah II can ap­point and sack mil­i­tary and in­tel­li­gence chiefs, judges and mem­bers of par­lia­ment’s up­per house with­out gov­ern­ment ap­proval.

Early turnout was low at polling sta­tions in the cap­i­tal.

Even those who did show up said they were do­ing so only in the hope that this elec­tion would see change.

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