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Jordan Islamists demand 'assurances' of fair poll

Jordan's influential Muslim Brotherhood Movement and trade unions on Sunday demanded "real assurances" from the government that parliamentary elections, set for November 20, would be held in a fair and transparent atmosphere.

Jordan Islamists demand 'assurances' of fair poll
Jordan's influential Muslim Brotherhood Movement and trade unions on Sunday demanded "real assurances" from the government that parliamentary elections, set for November 20, would be held in a fair and transparent atmosphere.

"The Muslim Brotherhood has decided to defer taking a decision on whether to run for the general elections until the image becomes clear with real and tangible assurances materialize as to the fairness and transparency of the polls," the group said in a statement.

The country's 14 trade unions have also issued a statement urging the government to "assume neutrality, refrain from intervention in the polling process and ensure the elections will be conducted in a fair and transparent manner."

The professional societies also called for "judicial supervision" on the ballot process, the enactment of "a modern and democratic election law" and dialogue between the government and all civic society institutions.

The remarks came against the backdrop of charges by the Muslim Brotherhood - Jordan's largest opposition group -and its political arm, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), that the government had "rigged" the municipal elections of July 31.

On the voting day, the IAF withdrew its 33 candidates from the polling process and accused the government of using army personnel for duplicate voting.

The IAF also charged that buses carrying plain-clothed soldiers moved from one polling station to another, with the same people casting ballots in more than one centre.

Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit denied the rigging charges and defended the right of the army personnel to take part in the ballots in accordance with the municipal law.

A public meeting that was held on Sunday at the IAF headquarters called on King Abdullah II to "cancel" the results of the municipal elections, according to an IAF statement.

Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of the Jordan Lawyers Association Saleh Armouti contended that the army's participation in the municipal elections "ran counter to the constitution."

DPA
Last Mod: 27 Ağustos 2007, 11:16
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