Former prime minister Ahmad Obeidat on Saturday announced the launch of a pro-reform political coalition that includes opposition parties and unionists to call for the “rule of law” in Jordan. Constitutional amendments, government accountability, combating corruption, new economic policies, redefining the role of security agencies, judicial reforms, press freedoms and revisiting the education system are the main cornerstones of the newly established National Front for Reform (NFR), according to a statement released by the coalition.
“Our movement can be summarised in a few words: the rule of law,” Obeidat told reporters at a press conference in Amman to announce the launch of the coalition. “We seek to apply the rule of law in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and this is the solution to all our problems,” added the former premier (1984-85), who before that served as the head of the General Intelligence Department. The coalition includes the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the Jordanian Communist Party, the Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party (Wihda), the country’s two Baathist groups, the Jordanian People’s Democratic Party (Hashed), the Nation Party, the Social Left Movement and the Jordanian Women’s Union. Other members include a handful of professional associations and trade unions, in addition to independent figures, Obeidat said.
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It should be noted that the statement by the new coalition concluded calling the “Zionist threat” the biggest challenge facing Jordan:
The NFR statement concluded by reiterating the right of return for all Palestinian refugees and their grandchildren living in Jordan to their homes in historical Palestine. “The existing and the coming Zionist threat is the main challenge targeting Jordan, as it has targeted Palestine,” said the statement.
The Islamic Action Front (IAF) is generally considered to be the political wing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. One of the most important leaders of the IAF is Ishaq Farhan a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, one of the three founders of the IAF, and a former education minister and senator. Mr. Farhan is also listed as a director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), founded in the U.S. in 1980 by important members of the Global Muslim Brotherhood who wished to promote the “Islamization of Knowledge.” IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in March 2002 in connection with the financing of terrorism. In 2000, Mr. Farhan was denied entry to the U.S. after having had his visa revoked in the prior year without informing him. The New York Times reportedat that time that unidentified American diplomats called Mr. Farhan a “moderating force” and that he “as kept a distance from the vociferous opposition to peaceful relations with Israel.” However, in 2003 a media report said that the IAF had “declared a jihad in favor of Iraq and Palestine if the US attacks Iraq.”