AMMAN, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Jordan’s King Abdullah issued a decree on Sunday dissolving parliament and told the government to prepare for multi-party polls later this year, officials said.
They said the decree dissolving the 110-member parliament, whose four-year term formally ended last April, and the call to prepare for elections, was a clear sign that the monarch would not use his constitutional right to delay the polls.
The government is expected to set an election date this week, probably in November.
Conservative politicians had urged the king to delay elections because they fear the opposition Islamist movement, which seeks political change through peaceful means, may make electoral gains similar to those of their ideological allies in the Palestinian territories, Egypt and Turkey. [source]
This news wasn’t really supposed to have any shock value to it as it should come as no surprise that this was destined to happen. There was some talk these last few days about the possibility of the King delaying the elections due to the outcome of the municipal elections which saw acknowledgeable corruption on the part of the government the lead to an Islamist boycott. Soon thereafter a miniature public relations war was ignited between the government and the Islamists. The war’s primary dominoes included the govt declaring the boycott to be illegal (it’s against the law to withdraw a part on the day of the elections), followed by the IAF seeking ‘international justice’, followed by the PM suggesting (perhaps and hopefully, jokingly) that such a thing did not ‘agree with Jordan’s democratic spirit, and then essentially drawing one of the worst imaginable political analogies between the IAF and the Naher il-Barid situation in Lebanon. This (kind of) ended with a government denial that anything ever happened. Just like that machine thingy in the movie Men in Black, that makes people forget things.
Three weeks out and in all the mess, the government has managed to do what it usually does when it wants to crush support for the Islamists: it becomes the Islamists most prominent benefactor by sending their way more support than ever before. To invoke a political analogy along the lines of the PM’s; think of the proportional relationship between the US and Al-Queda.
The gains of their “ideological allies”, as so feared by the conservative politicians mentioned in the article above, are nothing when compared to how much support the Islamists in Jordan get just from the government. It’s the political personification of shooting oneself in the foot, which comes right before the traditional placing of the foot in the mouth. I think they have a foot fetish.
In all seriousness, I truly believe that the government has yet to find an effective way of achieving the goal of clamping down on Islamist support without actually giving them even more support in the process. My suggestion would be for them to get as close as they can with the Islamists. Even take the same positions. Become best buddies. Go fishing together in the Dead Sea or something. Generally, Jordanians are suspicious of anything or anyone that is that close to the government so they’ll eventually stop voting for the IAF.
Perhaps the King’s decision to send the whole ‘parliamentary elections will not be delayed’ message to the public, was an attempt to jump out of a painted corner while placing an early stranglehold on the IAF’s sympathy vote; a card the party was destined to play in the weeks heading up to the next elections. If elections become set then the debate shifts.
While that’s all gumdrops and lollipops, the problem is that once you set elections you also set certain expectations. This is especially true since not a lot of time will have passed to make what happened in the municipal elections a fleeting memory. To say nothing of the fact that with everyone tripping on the bar of expectations that was set pretty low the last time around, the next elections are likely to be taken more seriously. More people will be paying attention.
Whether Islamists boycott or not. Whether they win big or don’t at all. This is all besides the point and pretty much insignificant, despite what the politically tone-deaf proponents of the whole ‘they are the only legitimate party’ mantra say.
What will matter and what will take center stage is how the elections are conducted. If there is even a scent of fraud then not only do the elections lose all credibility but the political process in Jordan will be set back a few decades. We can forget any plans about strengthening parties and all that jazz, because no one (except the foot fetish people) will be voting for some time.
Most Jordanians have come to expect corruption in their elections (if not their system). But I doubt the mood will be so, forgiving, after two corrupt elections in the same year.
There is some talk that bakhit resigned
The majali-gallab-tarawneh party that will be created to face “threats” is a failure before it begins due to the history of the people establishing it-maybe except for tarawneh 🙂 – Anyway tomorrow is a new day and we\’ll see what happens..
Mohanned: well it is elaph…but i’ve actually heard the same rumor with the same names mentioned.
No smoke without a fire..
Bakhit was the right guy for the wrong government, he and the king became micromanagers, and the ministers and their crews are worthless-lazy-mansaf eating “officials”..
Ya 7’sarto el bakhit he is a clean honest guy, but those who are clean and honest don’t last long 🙂
no comment :-O
No seriousely naseem, as a person he is clean and honest, you can ask people in the army who knew him..But maybe he got poluted when he entered the system 😀
I just can’t belive how people can except this travesty without even rising an eyebrow ,here,we have a man deciding for us what’s right what’s wrong.
I believe ,It’s time for the king to dissolve himself once and for all,because we are sick and tired of his dictatorial roles,we are capable of deciding for our self,I say one more time,its time for civil disobedience and general strike to paralyze this government and and force to accept people’s role.
Rawwa7at el 2omoor 😀
Can someone please explain to me in plain English what this means? This about the king dissolving the parliament. What are the consequences and is it good or bad?
Muhammad: technically it is neither 100% good nor 100% bad. It is taken as a sign that the King is going ahead with parliamentary elections this year.
Alordony el 7orr
Allow me to go off …
You’re coming off as one of those people who have read one too many books about freedom and democracy “we have a man deciding for us whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wrong”.
Really you have tens of forces telling you what to do and what’s right and wrong, your parents, your Jordanian culture and crazy holier than thou preachers, the King is the least of the threats to your personal autonomy!!
Look at all the so called democracies of the world, elections is a charade from the US to India. Time and time again when Arab people were given the CHOICE to pick a leader they make the wrong one and the turn the man into a God. Look at our Arabic history even after the most glorious freedom preaching revolutions we end up with a 30 year long illegal presidency…pick your evil wisely man. snap out of your utopia!!
Nas…excuse the tangent
Maha,,,,Since when ,we Jordanian including you and I were able to chose between the “lesser of too many eviles,the ansewer to this question is never.
“Time and time again when Arab people were given the CHOICE to pick a leader they make the wrong one and the turn the man into a God. Look at our Arabic history even after the most glorious freedom preaching revolutions we end up with a 30 year long illegal presidencyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦pick your evil wisely man. snap out of your utopia!!”
And since when Arab people were ever allowed to chose their leaders or parties??
Last time I checked my history books, I didn’t find any reference to your twisted conclusion and if they did they,they either killed or imprisoned,a good example,yacaub Zaideen,was tortured and imprisoned in Al Jafear for many years.