Jordan's Islamists say they will boycott elections


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The Independent Online

A spokesman for Jordan's powerful Muslim Brotherhood says his group will boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections in protest over recent changes in the kingdom's election legislation.

A boycott would be a blow to King Abdullah, who has made reforms the centerpiece of his campaign to stave off Arab Spring-like protests in Jordan.

Brotherhood spokesman Jamil Abu-Bakr said Friday that the movement — Jordan's largest opposition group — may reverse its decision if the government "makes serious and real efforts toward reforms."

The elections are expected at the end of the year. The main dispute is over a new election law, which allows each voter two separate ballots — one for representatives from local districts in this traditionally tribal society, the other for one of 27 candidates on a national list.