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.