Jordan’s king moves toward banning Muslim Brotherhood (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By ELHANAN MILLER 04/18/12)
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Lower house of parliament approves a bill barring parties established
on a ‘religious basis’
With the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated parties making political
gains in Egypt and elsewhere in the region, King Abdullah is moving
to thwart a similar process in Jordan.
The lower house of Jordan’s parliament has ratified a proposed
amendment to the political parties law, banning the establishment of
political parties on “a religious basis.” From here the law goes to
the Senate (upper house), which is appointed by Abdullah. If passed,
the law will disqualify Jordan’s largest opposition party, the Muslim
Brotherhood’s Islamic Action Front.
The bill’s initiator, Mamdouh Al-Abadi, told the independent
Jordanian daily Al-Arab Al-Yawm Tuesday that numerous Middle East
countries including Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and Morocco forbid parties
to have Islamic titles while still allowing them to include religious
But the Freedom and Justice Party condemned the draft law Tuesday,
arguing that it “clashed with democratic principles and contradicted
a number of constitutional clauses.”
Abdullah has been pushing a process of political reform in Jordan and
attempting to calm the popular unrest which has simmered in the
kingdom for over a year, influenced by calls for democracy in
neighboring countries. The main thrust of the king’s reform addresses
election and political party laws, which the opposition argues tip
results in favor of tribal loyalism at the expense of democratic
On Saturday, the Islamic Action Front’s legislative body, the Shura
Council, issued a harsh statement condemning the proposed law as
a “shock” to Jordanians. The party indicated it may stop cooperating
with the king on his reform initiative if the bill goes forward.
“[We] adamantly refuse to take part in such a ridiculous political
process as false witnesses by overriding the will of the Jordanian
people,” read the statement.
Hamza Mansour, leader of the Islamic Action Front, was noncommittal
Tuesday about whether his party would run in the upcoming elections,
Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported.
Quoting senior sources in the Muslim Brotherhood, Jordanian political
commentator Hadeel Ghabboun argued that the draft law dealt a death
blow to the prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood’s participation in
Jordanian mainstream politics in the near future.
“The draft law… returns the political crisis between the Brotherhood
and decision makers to square one,” wrote Ghabboun in the independent
Jordanian daily Al-Ghad. (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 04/18/12)
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