Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood Boycotts Municipal Elections


French media is reporting that the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood is boycotting municipal elections claiming that since the beginning of the “Arab Spring”, there is no readiness for change. According to an AFP report:

AFP August 27, 2013 Jordanians were voting Tuesday in municipal elections with the impact of a massive influx of war refugees from neighbouring Syria on a struggling economy stoking voter resentment and apathy.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition party, is boycotting the polls, charging that, despite repeated promises since the Arab Spring of 2011, there is no real readiness for change.

With few candidates of the leftist or nationalist opposition standing, tribal figures, who are the traditional bedrock of the monarchy, are set to sweep the elections.

‘Jordan held parliamentary elections in January and today people are voting in municipal elections. It is an achievement for democracy and reform in this turbulent region,’ Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur told reporters after he voted in his northwestern hometown of Salt.

Municipal Affairs Minister Walid Masri told a news conference that the electoral process ‘is going smoothly. There are no obstacles or problems to report.’

‘The turnout is good and we hope Jordanians will vote, boosting democracy and helping municipalities provide services to people,’ he said.

Masri added that more than 4,000 local and international observers were monitoring the process. The election has been overshadowed by anger among Jordanians over the impact of more than 500,000 Syrian refugees on their lives and country, with its population of just 6.8 million.

Read the rest here.

At the end of July, the GMBDW reported that the leader of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood had delivered speeches in which he called peace negotiations with Israel  “a heresy, according to Islamic law” and that Palestine is “the graveyard of the Jews.” 

In April, the GMBDW reported that a leader of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood had rejected agreements signed by the country’s king and the Israeli government and that leaders of the Brotherhood wold not meet U.S. officials. 

In July 2012, the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood was involved in the cancellation of a scheduled attendance by a Jordanian delegation to an educational conference being held in Israel. In June 2012, the head of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood called the arrival of the latest convoy in Gaza “a new page of the Jihad against the occupation of the Palestinian territories. In May 2012, the Jordanian Brotherhood elected a new leader, described as a “hardliner.” 

Extremist statements made in the past by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood include:

  • 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. 
  • 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.  

For a current analysis of the relationship between the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and the government, go here.

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