Islamists boycott election in Jordan


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The Independent Online

The powerful Muslim Brotherhood has said it will boycott the forthcoming parliamentary elections in protest at the kingdom's election laws, saying that recent reforms fall short of its demands.

A boycott by the Brotherhood's political party, the Islamic Action Front, would deal a blow to King Abdullah II, who has made his reforms campaign the centrepiece of efforts to stave off Arab Spring-style protests.

The elections, expected by the end of the year although no date has been set, are critical to the king's campaign. He has changed 42 articles, or one-third of Jordan's 60-year-old constitution, giving parliament a say in appointing the cabinet – a task which used to be his sole prerogative.

"The government left us no choice but to boycott the elections because it did not show any seriousness toward real reforms," a Brotherhood spokesman, Jamil Abu-Bakr, said.

Mr Abu-Bakr said the Brotherhood – the largest opposition group – may reverse its decision if the government acted promptly on its demands. "We will leave that discussion until a time when the government undertakes serious and real efforts toward reforms," he said.