In a surprise development, a Middle East news portal is reporting that the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has scored unexpected gains in local elections. According to the Al Monitor report:
In the run-up to municipal and governorate elections on Aug. 15 in Jordan, expectations for nationwide voter turnout were low. In addition to electing members of more than 100 municipalities across the kingdom, voters were asked to select the members of 12 newly formed governorate councils. The aim of the councils is to decentralize government decisions and empower local representatives to plan and approve projects and services at the governorate level. At the end of the day, only 31% of the 4.1 million eligible voters had cast ballots, with the major urban centers of Amman, Zarqa and Irbid experiencing exceptionally low turnout.
The biggest surprise, however, was the unexpected gains made by Islamists. Running under a broad coalition — the National Alliance for Reform — the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, announced that its candidates had won 76 seats across the kingdom, including the presidency of three municipalities. A prominent IAF figure, Ali Abu al-Sukar, scored a major victory by winning the presidency of the municipal council of Zarqa, Jordan’s second largest city, a largely conservative urban center and a traditional Islamist base.”
The Islamist-led coalition also claimed 25 seats in the governorate councils, plus five seats on the coveted Greater Amman Municipality Council. It also announced that 11 women on its lists had won seats. Women voters, said to make up 53% of the voter base, failed to turn out in big numbers, according to the Independent Election Commission (IEC). In Amman, the figure was less than 5%.
Read the rest here.
The GMBDW last reported on the Muslim Brotherhood In Jordan in October 2016 when we noted that it had returned to the country’s parliament after deciding to play down the role of religion in the party’s platform. Other recent GMBDW reporting on the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has included:
- The GMBDW reported in April 2016 that police in Jordan had shut down the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in the capital Amman.
- The GMBDW reported in February 2016 that group allegedly ended its official affiliation with the Egyptian organization.
- The GMBDW reported in December of 2015 that key members of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood had resigned in the ongoing dispute between rival factions of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.
For a history of extremist statements made in the past by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, go here.
For an analysis of the relationship between the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and the government, go here.