Photo Of The Moment | Islamists Boycotting Jordanian Parliamentary Elections; A Wise Move?

REUTERS: Jordan’s Islamic Action Front Party leader Hamzi Mansour gestures during a news conference in Amman August 2, 2010. The Islamic Action Front, the political wing of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest political grouping, said on Monday that it has decided to boycott the November election in protest against a new voting system which it says damages democracy

The country’s only real opposition political party, and representative of a large segment of society as well as a considerably significant important demographic, is not participating in the elections. Not a shocker. It’s been done before, and they’ve been brought back in to the folds before with a carrot and a stick (used simultaneously). Whether one is a fan or not, their absence is a blow to the election’s credibility, to say nothing of the process story that I wrote about a few days ago.

So the question of the moment is: was it a wise move?

Is it a political tactic to muster up social support prior to an election?

Is it an attempt to solidify the ranks and party line after three years of party infighting that has only recently saw the IAF return to some state of normalcy?

On an unrelated note. Every time I see a picture of an IAF member talking publicly, they’ve always got an index finger raised, which can be interpreted in different ways. Personally, I think it might be their political equivalent to the “Clinton Thumb”. Just a thought.


  • I think it might be the right move at this time because they are facing some internal affairs problems and it would also spare them the post-election drama. Moreover, it is their right as a part of opposition parties which were totally neglected completely when the election law was made so why bother?

    Of course a lot of people will argue that participation is a better way, and many Jordanians whatever their views might be are boycotting the elections.

  • Ah stillness in motion, the illusion of actually doing something when in reality they aren’t! They are broken, and useless and contributed as much a blow to this elections as anyone who didn’t register and will not vote… which is just business as usual.

  • Regardless of what many might be saying, the decision this time is justifiable, the government has been doing nothing but pulling the carpet from underneath wrapped in a false image of empowering the elections.

    The choice of timing in Hajj and the way the new law was sculpted against them is enough to justify their move, nevertheless, I still think it’s a tactic decision and will very likely be pulled back the second they’re awarded some of what they want.

  • “The choice of timing in Hajj” ? WTF ! IAF all go for a hajj picnic? can the rational get anymore ridiculous, i think the reason they boycott is that they don’t want to be ashamed with the loses that they will suffer in the elections and they are simply scared of losing. because beyond their strongholds they won’t amass any support and their strongholds don’t boost a large number of elected officials… so they will be marginalized anyways and they will be shown to be largely ineffective and consequently loose even more supports.
    So the choice to boycott has been simply a choice of self preservation. BUT NOOOOOO they were out to get them by scheduling it during the Hajj “month”

  • @Omar: Though I might agree with you on every word except the timing issue:
    1- Most IAF members went to Hajj.
    2- Election law and time are not thoroughly studied.
    3-The IAF’s boycotting was most expected since they are suffering a major setback and issues from within.

    Moreover, it is worth noting that the “Teacher’s Union Revival Committee”, Jordan Veterans, several opposition parties are planning to boycott the elections too and its their right even though we’re going to hear Al-Rifai and his music band tell us more than once that who ever boycotts the elections is not doing his/her part on a national level “OH yeah!”

    Regardless of political views, many Jordanians are sick and tired of the ongoing efforts to promote the next elections.

  • I AM ALL FOR IT ! why would they be a part of a parliament that is going to be a toy in the government hand ! mark my words this parliament is going to pass all sort of sick laws …. they just don’t want to be in the parliament for the chairs they wanna make a change and the rifaiii and the government made it clear this parliament is coming to pass the laws the government needs to question them or legislate them ..


  • its not only the Islamists but also the Left wing, the military retired people and also the teachers party amongst others . Thats a lot of people

    I think when things like : Alabdali project not being charged with taxes whereas the people who cant afford a pepsi are, makes people loose faith in the system when this strategy becomes consistent. These parties are fed up being used as false witnesses amongst a system that already has the decision ready before even voting . Wadi araba treaty ??

    Im not a political analyst but this is how I see it

  • until the rules of the game change, no point in taking part in a charade, it only makes you as culpable as the designers of this farce…

  • the case with the political parties, right to left, is that they still don’t understand the political game. they are seriously in-need for a strategic review for their manifestos and positions if they really need to gain public support and become an influential entities as they used to be in their golden age. the one-vote law is a fact and they must accept and work through it if they intend to make any change.

Your Two Piasters: