Jordan - Political parties



Political parties were abolished on 25 April 1957, following an alleged attempted coup by pan-Arab militants. In the elections of 1962, 1963, and 1967, candidates qualified in a screening procedure by the Interior Ministry ran for office, in effect, as independents. The Jordanian National Union, formed in September 1971 as the official political organization of Jordan and renamed the Arab National Union in March 1972, became inactive by the mid-1970s. In 1990, the election law was amended to ban bloc voting or by party lists, substituting instead a "one person, one vote" system. In 1992, political parties were again permitted and 22 were authorized to take part in elections. The principal opposition group has been the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the parliamentary elections of 8 November 1993, 22 political parties fielded candidates, representing a wide range of political views. Seats were widely dispersed among a range of largely centrist parties supportive of King Hussein's IMF-modeled reforms and his pro-Western stance. The largest bloc of seats, however, was won by the Islamic Action Front, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1997, nine pro-government parties, hoping to gain leverage against the large Islamist bloc in upcoming elections, banded together to form the National Constitutional Party. However, the grouping won only a total of three seats, and the Islamic opposition boycotted the elections altogether. Only six parties fielded candidates. Independent progovernment candidates representing local tribal interests won 62 out of the 80 contested seats; 10 seats were won by nationalist and leftist candidates; and 8 by independent Islamists.

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