Conflict between government and Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan
Jordan, Analysis, 8/28/1997
The Moslem Brotherhood group, "Al-Ekhwan," in Jordan has declared explicitly that they decided to boycott parliamentary elections to be held early next November.
This decision caused a great echo in the political arena, which had been stagnant for quite a long time this summer, as most of the main rulers and VIPs are spending their vacations outside the country. The Brotherhood's decision is unprecedented; for fifty years no such decision has ever been taken.
The Brotherhood's decision has broken the stillness of political life in Jordan. It brought to the surface the deep arguments among the competing trends inside the party. It also revealed the national and progressive parties' fears, which uncovered their Islamic attitudes. They will have to be isolated in relation to their size and their little effect during this stage or declare their boycott of the elections, as the Moslem Brotherhood did.
The most beneficent of all parties, is undoubtedly the biggest party in the whole country, the National Constitutional Party, formed lately from a coalition of nine parties which are politically comprehensive and loyal to the Jordanian government. The announced boycott created a procedural problem whether or not to hold or cancel the elections under the absence of all that number of parties that affect the public opinion, especially because the Islamic trend is the widest and the deepest in spite of its fewer representatives in the parliament.
The general observer of El-Ekhwan group, El Shiekh Abd El Muguid El Zainbat, has revealed some background underlying this decision. He said the motive behind that decision is the lack of confidence in the government led by the National Constitutional Party.
Despite the fact that "The Islamic Work Front," in which El-Ekhwan are the backbone, decided more than 2 months ago to participate in the elections, observers are expecting the suspension of the "Front" from the elections, otherwise the "Front" and the brothers "El Ekhwan" are threatened by a conflict between each other. The government has announced its regret for such a decision yet insisted on carrying out the election on schedule.
Eventually, the political arena in Jordan will remain unstable until the King of Jordan takes action in this respect for he was and is still the owner of the final decision.
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