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Why many Jordanians have little stomach for upcoming elections

Distrust toward parliament, stemming from electoral fraud and doing nothing about the struggling economy, has generated Jordanian apathy toward parliamentary elections in September.
A man marks his ballot at a polling station in Amman January 23, 2013. Jordanians voted on Wednesday in their first parliamentary elections since the Arab Spring revolts, but a boycott by the main Islamist party will ensure no repeat of an Egypt-style revolution via the ballot box. REUTERS/Majed Jaber (JORDAN - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR3CTZ7
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AMMAN, Jordan — An astounding 87% of Jordanians said their parliament had not made even one praiseworthy accomplishment during the 2013-16 term, according to an April poll conducted by the International Republican Institute. Faced with such public skepticism, the Jordanian government is campaigning to increase voter turnout for the country's most important elections, to be held in two months.

The Independent Election Commission has launched a new website in Arabic and in English and has taken to the streets to explain the voting list system enacted in March in a new election law that did away with the previous one-person, one-vote system. “The King, the government and the Independent Election Committee have done all that is possible to prepare the groundwork for the new elections,” said a June 12 editorial in the Jordan Times. Nonetheless, with the Sept. 20 contest approaching, former Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher told Al-Monitor, “There is a noticeable indifference toward the elections.”

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