Skeptics Describe Jordan’s Parliamentary Elections as a Carbon Copy
Jordan’s parliamentary elections scheduled for November 9 is expected to shift the kingdom towards democracy. Voter apathy however and the absence of the Muslim Brotherhood‘s political arm has raised concerns about the parliament’s legitimacy.
The influential MB offshoot, the Islamic Action Front, has chosen to boycott to protest against a new electoral law they assert is designed to deprive them of votes.
According to critics a lower voter turnout is expected. Mohamed Masri a researcher at the Centre for strategic studies at Jordan ‘s University asserts that the public will think that parliament will represent only a minority which in turn will harm Jordan ‘s image abroad.
The government, is keen on convincing citizens to vote in the election, which they stress will be transparent and impartial confirming it has taken various measures to ensure for the first time, the presence of international organizations to overlook the election.
Campaigns, to an extent are gathering force with 763 candidates contesting 120 seats. Banners focusing on freedom, reform and Palestinians’ right of return have also been posted
Some observers are skeptical stressing the new parliament will not be different from its predecessor since the boycott may result in dominance by government loyalists.
Jihad al Mansi, a correspondent with the Al Ghad newspaper, notes that although the government is doing its best to encourage voters’ participation, the coming parliament will be a carbon copy.