Jordan: Activists warn of large-scale election boycott

by Khaled Neimat | Jul 22, 2012 | JORDAN TIMES

AMMAN — The Jordan Bar Association (JBA) on Saturday criticised the 2012 Elections Law calling on His Majesty King Abdullah to intervene and amend it in a way to ensure wider participation in the upcoming polls.

The King had directed the government to change the law, and Parliament made an amendment to one article raising the seats allocated for a national proportional list to 27 from 17, but also increased the number of total seats by 10, in a move seen as diluting the potential impact of the list, which is expected to be dominated by Islamists and opposition figures.

The largest opposition party, the Islamic Action Front, has already announced it would boycott the elections, although some of its leaders have been quoted in local press reports as saying that they would reconsider the decision if their demands are met.

The opposition and professional associations claim that the law in its present version entrenches the notorious one-person, one-vote system, blamed for bringing government loyalists and wealthy businesspeople accused of buying votes together under the Dome.

In a letter it addressed to the King and made public, the bar association criticised the recent amendments to the legislation saying that such amendments would not attract people to the polls.

“The version of the law adopted by Parliament a few days ago will block the political reform process in the country and encourage a significant portion of our society to boycott the elections,” Mazen Irsheidat, president of the JBA said in the letter.

According to the JBA, “the country now is in need of an elections law that would prevent further escalation of the political and social tension and lead us to put an end to the ongoing social violence”.

The JBA call for the King to intervene came just few days after the leftist parties made the same request in a statement, before at least two of them made it official that they would not go to the upcoming polls, expected in December this year.

read more here: on Jordan Times

Categories: Asia, Jordan

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