Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood to boycott early elections


Jordan’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood decided on Thursday to boycott early elections expected later this year because of a “lack of reform,” in a move that is likely throw the country into political crisis.

“The Muslim Brotherhood’s shura (advisory) council voted today (Thursday) to boycott parliamentary elections this year,” Zaki Bani Rsheid, deputy leader of the movement, told AFP.

“Forty-nine out of 52 members of the council voted on the decision, which comes as a result of a lack of political reform in the country.”

Bani Rsheid said “the regime has failed to meet reform demands by Jordanians, including the Islamist movement.”

According to the constitution, elections should be organized every four years, but Jordan held early polls in 2010 after King Abdullah II dissolved parliament.

The Islamists boycotted those elections in protest at constituency boundaries, saying they over-represented loyalist rural areas at the expense of urban areas seen as Islamist strongholds.

They have repeatedly demanded sweeping changes that would lead to a parliamentary system in which the premier would be elected rather than named by the king.