Jordan Islamists say no talks before demands (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) AMMAN 03/09/11 1:03 pm ET)
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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
"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
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
"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
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