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Jordan Islamists say no talks before demands (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) AMMAN 03/09/11 1:03 pm ET)Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110309/wl_mideast_afp/jordanpoliticsunrestislamistopposition_20110309180323;_ylt=AvpuP56DVI4B.VbDvh4DhQaaOrgF;_ylu=X3oDMTNlNmhyZzAwBGFzc2V0A2FmcC8yMDExMDMwOS9qb3JkYW5wb2xpdGljc3VucmVzdGlzbGFtaXN0b3Bwb3NpdGlvbgRwb3MDMTEEc2VjA3 AFP} Agence France Presse AFP} Agence France Presse Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
AMMAN (AFP) – Jordan´s powerful Islamist opposition said on Wednesday they will not engage in any dialogue with the government unless it promises to examine first their demands for constitutional reforms.

The Islamists issued their condition as King Abdullah II called on all political parties to join a national dialogue initiative in an "active" way.

"We will not participate in an initiative that carries no real dialogue," Zaki Bani Rsheid, head of the political office of the Islamic Action Front (IAF) told AFP.

"We demand constitutional reforms and not just amendments to the electoral law," which have been promised by Prime Minister Maaruf Bakhit, he said.

The government has recently formed a commission headed by Senate President Taher Masri to initiate a national dialogue on political reforms.

"The government does not have what it takes to implement constitutional reforms. Only the king can manage a national dialogue," Bani Rsheid said.

"We want to know who are the members of the commission and they should come up with recommendations in a month or six weeks, not more."

Bani Rsheid insisted that the Islamists "will not participate in the dialogue unless our conditions are met," saying that "there is a real opportunity for reforms now."

Inspired by the popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, Jordanians have been protesting since January to demand political and economic reforms.

"Political parties should come up with programmes that would meet people´s aspirations," the state-run Petra news agency quoted the king as telling leaders of some political parties at a meeting.

"Political development requires developed political parties, which have a key role to play in a comprehensive reform process."

He said "it is important that all political parties take part in a national dialogue in an active way." (Copyright © 2011 Agence France Presse. 03/09/11)


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