Jor­dan elec­tion seen as step to­ward demo­cratic re­form

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

To­day’s Jor­dan par­lia­ment elec­tion is be­ing touted as proof that the pro-Western monar­chy is mov­ing for­ward with demo­cratic re­forms de­spite re­gional tur­moil and se­cu­rity threats. Of­fi­cials point to new rules of vot­ing and the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the op­po­si­tion Mus­lim Brother­hood for the first time in al­most a decade. But crit­ics ar­gue that this year’s elec­toral re­form – os­ten­si­bly meant to strengthen po­lit­i­cal par­ties – has fallen short and that the re­vised sys­tem con­tin­ues to favour King Ab­dul­lah II’s tra­di­tional tribal sup­port­ers. They ex­pect the par­lia­ment be­ing cho­sen to­day to be sim­i­lar to the out­go­ing one – largely an assem­bly of in­di­vid­u­als with com­pet­ing nar­row in­ter­ests, widely dis­missed by Jor­da­ni­ans as in­ef­fec­tive in deal­ing with en­demic un­em­ploy­ment and other crises. In to­day’s elec­tion, Jor­da­ni­ans will choose 130 mem­bers of par­lia­ment, with 15 seats re­served for women, nine for Chris­tians and three for mi­nor­ity Chechens and Cir­cas­sians.

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