U.S. media is reporting that Jordanians voted in higher than expected numbers despite a boycott by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. According to a Washington Post report:
AMMAN, Jordan — Jordanians turned out in higher-than-expected numbers Wednesday to elect a loyalist parliament in what officials hailed as a ringing endorsement of King Abdullah II’s gradualist approach to democratic reforms. As polls closed at 8 p.m., officials announced that 56.5 percent of the country’s 2.2 million eligible voters had cast a ballot in the country’s first elections since the Arab Spring uprisings began more than two years ago. Officials had privately predicted a turnout of 35 to 40 percent because of a boycott of the polls by the Muslim Brotherhood, Jordan’s largest political force. ‘These results represent a success for the Jordanian people and a continuation of our march towards democracy,’ said Samih Maaytah, a government spokesman and minister of media affairs. Given the Islamists’ boycott, the elections became something of a referendum on the government’s deliberately paced strategy of implementing change, with Abdullah largely resisting pressure by a two-year-old protest movement to transfer to the people his authority to form governments. ‘These results are proof that the Jordanian people are ready to make the next step and that we as a nation are on the right track,’ Maaytah said. Many voters, however, said officials should not misinterpret participation as endorsement of the status quo, with some saying they had headed to the polls reluctantly Wednesday out of a feeling of duty to politically involved friends and relatives. Because of the Brotherhood’s absence and a complex electoral system favoring government loyalists, other voters said, they were forced to choose among the same tribal and pro-government figures who have dominated previous, corruption-riddled parliaments.
Read the rest here.
A post from May reported on the selection of a new leader for the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, described as a “hardliner.” Previous posts have reported on various extremist positions of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood including:
- Praising Turkey’s decision to expel the Israeli ambassador and calling on Jordan and Egypt to do the same.
- Demanding punishment for those in Jordan who may have warned Israel about the terror attacks in Eilat.
- Calling the French ban on full face veils “the beginning of a dangerous battle.”
- Suggesting that Israel might be behind a bomb attack on an Egyptian Coptic church.
- Support for Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir, accused by the International Criminal Court of genocide in Sudan.
- Support for marriage of girls at age 15.
- Participation in incitement centered on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
- Calling on Palestinians to begin a “Third Intifada.”
- Calling for martyrdom over religious sites in Israel.
- Opposing a U.N treaty on the rights of women.
- Supporting a boycott on goods produced by “enemies of Islam.”
- Calling for more suicide attacks against Israel.