Source: Jordan’s New Electoral Law Ready, No Women’s Quota
By Khalid Abu Al Khair
Albawaba.com - Amman
A senior Jordanian government source said Sunday that a new electoral law had been drawn up to incorporate most opposition suggestions, including Islamists' demands to throw out a proposed quota of Parliament seats for women.
Minister of Information Saleh Qallab told reporters earlier in the day that the new law was ready and would be approved before July 17.
The source said that, under the draft law, the number of Parliament seats had been raised from 80 to 100, with 20 allocated to voting at a national level. This means that a voter will be entitled to vote for one candidate from his/her constituency, and choose another from any other in the kingdom. The new provision is expected to create more room for the opposition to win seats at the Lower House.
The Islamists and other groups boycotted the 1997 elections, which were conducted under the one man, one vote law.
A major change in the bill is the lowering of voting age to 18, from the current 19 age limit, according to the source, who added that this would increase the number of Jordanians eligible to vote from 1.1 to 1.5 million.
Elections are due to take place in November this year, amid high chances of participation by the major opposition group, the Islamic Action Front party, which is the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing.
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