Jordan: Islamic opposition urges king to cancel municipal elections results
Members of Jordan's opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF) won seats in municipal elections ended Wednesday despite withdrawing from the race citing fraud, officials said after polling closed.
Government spokesman Nasser Jawdeh told a news conference that two Islamists "won mayorships" in voting that started on Tuesday and ended on Wednesday. "Two (Islamists) won mayorships in two municipalities. It is up to these candidates to decide whether or not they will keep the job," Jawdeh said.
Jordan's Municipalities Minister Nader Zuheirat said that at least four Islamists had won council seats in the polls, and described the process as "successful."
But IAF secretary general Zaki Bani Rsheid dismissed the results and said the party will ask its winners to resign. "These results are of no concern to us. We pulled out all our candidates yesterday (Tuesday) from the race and the results will not change anything," he told AFP. He described the elections as "a funeral of democracy."
On Thursday, IAF issued a statement calling the Jordanian king to cancel the results of the recent elections. The statement also urged to bring to justice those who were responsible for the "massive fraud which distorted the voters' will."
The Islamists withdrew their 25 candidates from the municipal race on Tuesday, accusing the government of fraud, a "democratic massacre" and "treason." The IAF accused the authorities of manipulating votes cast by military personnel who were taking part in municipal elections for the first time.
On the participation of the military in the elections, Jawdeh said it was legal, adding that it was not the first time the military takes part in municipal elections. Jawdeh said statements made by the IAF for months questioning fairness of procedures taken on the elections, were programmed and continuous, adding that the IAF manipulated the event to gain popularity in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
"Political work," he said, "lies in participation and not in boycotting or withdrawal."
According to final results given by Zuheirat more than 1.1 million Jordanians out of 1.9 million who had registered cast their ballots to elect 965 council members and mayors from 2,686 candidates in 94 municipalities. Zuheirat said that 20 women won council seats outside the quota and that only one woman out of six had won a mayorship.