IAF Mulls Lawsuit against Jordanian Government over Municipalities Mergers
Islamic Action Front (IAF) members who quit Jordanian municipal posts last week are considering filing a lawsuit against the government soon, if it does not throw out its decision to dissolve or merge certain municipalities, a party member said on Saturday.
Unless the government cancels the decision to merge municipalities and to replace the elected municipal councils with temporary appointed ones, “the IAF members who serve as mayors and municipal members are likely to sue the government in the Higher Court of Justice,” party member Nabil Kofahi, who is former mayor of Irbid, told the Jordan Times.
Members of the IAF, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, are seeking to appeal the merger plan because they believe that it is unconstitutional and aimed at curbing the Islamists' popularity.
For years, the party has maintained strongholds in the municipalities of Irbid, Tafileh, Zarqa and Ruseifa.
They also have a sizeable presence in the municipalities of Karak, Madaba and Sahab.
Last week, the government merged the 81 municipalities in Irbid into 18 and replaced Irbid's mayor, Kofahi, an Islamist, with the governor of the city.
The nine municipalities in Tafileh as of tomorrow will be streamlined down to four. Municipalities in Zarqa, Ruseifa and Karak have not yet been merged.
According to the municipal law, said Kofahi, the temporary appointed councils can only serve from three to a maximum of six months and not, as the government says, to a maximum of two years.
But Abdul Razzak Tbeishat, minister of municipal, rural and environmental affairs, told the paper that the government would not back off from its merger plan.
He claimed the municipalities law authorized the government to dissolve and merge municipalities, while appointing temporary councils for a maximum of two years, meaning up until the next municipal elections in 2003 – Albawaba.com
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