Jordan's interior ministry said Thursday it has dissolved 23 political parties after they failed to ensure a minimum membership of 500 people as required by a new controversial legislation that became effective earlier this month.
A total of 17 parties, mostly of Pan-Arab and leftist inclinations, have ceased to exist altogether while six have been merged in other parties, a ministry statement said.
Under the new law, only 14 parties have been licensed, including the country's largest political grouping, the Islamic Action Front (IAF).
Jordan had 37 political parties under the old Political Parties Law, which did not set a minimum number of members.
The new law stipulates that any political party should have at least 500 members in five governorates in order to be licensed.
The government said that the new law had the objective of ensuring that the country has stronger, albeit fewer, political parties.
The critics of the new law said it would impede the development of the political life in the country.
The Kingdom so far failed to have political parties that return parliamentary majorities or join ranks to forge coalitions that form governments with majority at parliament.
Last Mod: 17 Nisan 2008, 15:56