Jordan's Islamists Call For Electoral Reform Talks

Article Summary
The Islamic Movement in Jordan has called for serious dialogue with the government, reports Emirati daily Al-Khaleej. Atop the agenda are constitutional changes to overhaul election law, as well as an unpopular plan to eliminate food and fuel subsidies.

Yesterday [Sept. 17], the Islamic movement in Jordan called for a serious and deep dialogue, "which would prevent the country from reaching a stalemate." The movement said that all previous dialogue with the group "lacked seriousness," stressing that it sought “to change the regime's interface by laying the groundwork for a true democratic regime.”

Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah II has called for an extraordinary session of the National Assembly to be convened, which paves the way for dissolving the parliament and carrying out early parliamentary elections, currently scheduled [to take place] before the end of the year.

The head of the Political Department of the Islamic Action Front, Rahil Gharaibeh, said the movement had been seeking to "change the structure of the regime," before the eruption of the Arab Spring revolutions.

The movement is seeking modification to Articles 34, 35, and 36 of the Constitution in order to frame the dissolution of parliament and assign the parliamentary majority to form a government and elect — rather than appoint — Senate members.

Gharaibeh said that "early elections without a national consensus" would be a mere "recycling of the crisis." He stressed that the "era of imposing the paths of change is over.

"Dialogue is the only way to bridge the gap between the regime and political factions," he said, adding that "previous dialogue with the [Islamic] movement lacked seriousness."

Gharaibeh called for "a serious and deep dialogue, which would prevent the country from reaching a stalemate."

Moreover, the head of Jordanian General Security, Hussein Hazzah Majali, denied that security forces in the country were tools of persecution or repression, while confirming that rioters must be "firmly" dealt with.

In a press conference held on the sidelines of the 21st Asian Regional Conference taking place in the Jordanian capital [Amman], Majali said: "There is no such thing as soft or rough security against rioters, or in the implementation of the law. Security must be firm.

"Firm security does not result in any losses and security personnel are not tools of persecution or repression," he added.

On the other hand, Minister of Industry and Trade, Shabib Ammari, said there was no alternative to raising prices during the upcoming phase.

"Should prices increase globally, the government will no longer be able to subsidize basic materials such as flour and fuel," he said. "The only way out of the economic crisis is to lift subsidies on some commodities. There is no other option but to raise prices. Citizens must participate in reducing the budget deficit, as there is no other alternative."

Jordanian newspapers quoted official sources saying that the government intends to remove subsidies of some commodities at the beginning of 2013. However, it will provide direct cash support to eligible citizens following price increases that would take effect if the resolution was implemented.

Found in: jordan, islamism, islamic parties

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using them you accept our use of cookies. Learn more... X