Jordan Islamists want parliament dissolved
AMMAN - Jordan's powerful Islamist opposition, which boycotted the November general election, called in remarks published Tuesday for dissolving parliament, accusing MPs of hindering reforms.
"This parliament is not fit to approve any legal or constitutional amendments," Islamic Action Front (IAF) chief Hamzah Mansur said in a letter to Senate President Taher Masri, who heads a recently formed commission to initiate a national dialogue on political reforms.
"It is obvious that deputies are uptight about reform demands. It is very important now to dissolve parliament and call early elections. Otherwise, the talk about reforms will be useless."
Mansur criticised Masri's commission "because such a body should not be headed by senators, who are appointed by the king."
"The need to have a modern electoral law to produce MPs who truly represent the people enjoys a national consensus," Mansur said.
The IAF, the political arm of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, boycotted parliamentary elections in protest at constituency boundaries set up under the current electoral law, which it said over-represented rural areas considered loyal to the government.
Calls by the Islamists and other groups to dissolve parliament have increased, particularly after Amman MP Mohammad Kuz described pro-reform protesters as "corrupt villains."
"We will not allow such corrupt villains to lead demonstration. They have called for regime reforms, and they might demand regime change," he said in parliament on Thursday.
"If the government cannot stop them, we will do it ourselves."
Inspired by the popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, Jordanians have been protesting for weeks to demand political and economic reforms.