Jordanian Islamists unhappy with results parliamentary elections
Independent candidates close to the kingdom’s royal family won a majority of the seats in Jordan’s first legislative polls since 1997, while the leading opposition group has publicly complained of electoral fraud.
Analysts believe that the Islamists chose to nominate a limited number from the Islamic Action Front (an Islamic political party) as they had anticipated their chances of winning would be slim.
“The victory of only 17 candidates from the Islamic Action Front does not reflect the true image of the front among the Jordanian public,” said Ali Abu al Sukkar, an IAF candidate who achieved a sweeping victory in the legislative polls in the second largest Jordanian city of Zerqa. He reiterated to Al Bawaba that “public support of the IAF far exceeds the results of the elections.”
However, Abu al Sukkar attributed the poor results of his party to what he claims as 'inconveniences' and '[government] actions' that led to 'hindrances' that would ensure the IAF a lowered chance of victory.
The very prominent opposition leader who rejects normalization with Israel said "many factors have contributed to these results, including the one vote law, decision not to publish the voter list and the banning of veiled women from voting unless they remove their veils in front of a committee comprised of men (for identification purposes). Additionally, many employees in the education sector were also banned from voting due to their assigned duties in the electoral committees and election centers.” It is noteworthy to mention that ballot boxes were placed at all schools within the Kingdom.
On another note, 11 independent Islamists ran for office but only one of them managed to clinch a seat in the new parliament. The only victorious independent Islamist, Abdel Menem Abu Zanat, decided to run in elections independently of the IAF, and therefore losing his membership in the Islamic party.
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)