Islamists boycott Jordan's general election


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The Independent Online

The country’s first parliamentary elections were held since the Arab Spring revolts today, but a boycott by the main Islamist party guaranteed there would be no repeat of an Egypt-style revolution via the ballot box.

The popular Muslim Brotherhood shunned the poll saying the electoral system had been rigged against large, populated urban areas where it is strongest in favour of rural tribal areas where conservative, pro-government forces are entrenched. Results are expected tomorrow.

The boycott has reduced the election to a contest between tribal leaders, establishment figures and businessmen, with just a few of the 1,500 candidates running for recognised parties. Allegations of vote-buying are rife.

“God willing these elections will produce a good parliament that will consider the needs of the citizens. We hope this parliament will be better,” said Iskandar Nuqul, a voter in Amman.