AMMAN – The Islamist movement took significant steps during the past two days towards burying growing hatchets between its main rival groups. These mainly included the reelection of hawkish Ali Abul Sukkar as president of the Islamic Action Front’s (IAF) shura council during a meeting held on Saturday.Abul Sukkar won 60 votes, while his dovish opponent Adnan Majali gained 50 votes, according to party officials. In total, 111 shura council members out of 120 took part in the vote, one day after Zaki Bani Rsheid agreed under pressure to “step down” as the nominee for the IAF secretary general post, according to a press release he sent to local media. In the Friday statement, Bani Rsheid cancelled his candidacy as the main nominee of the mother group, the Muslim Brotherhood, to “preserve the group’s unity”. Bani Rsheid is reported to have set as a condition that he nominate his replacement. According to reports, he picked hawkish Murad Adayleh for the highly sensitive post. In his letter, Bani Rshied also vowed to heed to the group’s future decisions “whether he was convinced with them or not”. The IAF council also elected Ahmed Zarkan as deputy president with 54 votes, while his dovish rival Adnan Hasouneh received 51 votes. Jaafar Hourani and Mohammad Freihat were elected as president assistants after winning 71 and 62 votes respectively. With this result, the hawks cemented their grip on the party’s shura council. Abul Sukkar’s victory comes two weeks after he was elected for the same post in a controversial session that further exposed the fierce competition between the doves and hawks. But his election was then rejected by the IAF executive office, citing the absence of key moderate figures who walked out the meeting following a heated argument. The doves repeatedly said they do not wish to see the outspoken Bani Rsheid as secretary general one year after he was forced out of the same post due to open confrontation over the party’s participation in the 2007 Parliament elections and ties with Hamas. The hawks, on the other hand, have been furious that a decision by the Muslim Brotherhood shura council to name Bani Rsheid as secretary general was not respected. The IAF shura council decided to adjourn the Saturday session to elect a new secretary general as well as judges of the party’s courts. No date has been set for the next meeting, which is expected to be held following an imminent meeting for the Brotherhood’s shura council, to be held after a number of key leaders return from Turkey, where they are taking part in a conference.
Numerous earlier posts have discussed the conflict within the Jordanian Brotherhood.
It is interesting that the report notes that key Jordanian leaders were in Turkey to take part in an unidentified conference. A previous post reported that Jordanian nationals who participated in the Gaza flotilla which was recently involved in a confrontation with Israeli naval forces included individuals close to the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood.