With eyes on broader participation, Jordan extends voter registration period

Brotherhood: Reform should precede elections

AMMAN - Jordan on Sunday extended voter registration for another 15 days to ensure broader participation in elections later this year.
The independent electoral commission "decided to extend the registration period for an additional 15 days," its director Abdel Ilah al-Khatib told a press conference.
The extension was "based on recommendations and demands received by the commission ... and on its commitment to enable all citizens wishing to register (to do so)," he added.
"The registration period is thus 65 days long, ending on the evening of October 15," said Khatib, adding that at least 1.85 million voters have registered so far.
King Abdullah II vowed earlier this month to have a new parliament by the end of 2012, saying a decision by Islamists to boycott the vote was a "tremendous miscalculation," in an interview.
The Muslim Brotherhood voted in July to boycott the elections, for which a date has yet to be set, because of "lack of political reform," and other political parties have said they would do the same.
"Let me be clear again, we will hold early elections, and every Jordanian citizen should not be deprived of his or her right to register and vote because of such misinformation," the king said.
He said voter registration will be "a critical step and milestone along our roadmap to reform."