Analysts: Jordan vote win tests Brotherhood popularity

The solid performance of a Muslim Brotherhood-led coalition in Jordan’s local elections could presage a new lease on life for the embattled group, experts say.

In local and provincial polls held Wednesday, the National Alliance for Reform, led by the Islamic Action Front, the political wing of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, won 25 of the 48 provincial council seats it contested.

The alliance also won five out of the Amman Municipality’s 12 seats, and won majorities in the local councils of three of Jordan’s largest municipalities, including the industrial city of Zarqa.

The Brotherhood-linked coalition also grabbed 41 local council seats out of 88 candidates fielded.

Some 31.7 percent of eligible voters turned out for the vote, which was held under a new “decentralisation law” that the government says aims to help devolve some powers to larger cities and underdeveloped rural regions.

“The victory reflects the strength and unity of the Brotherhood organisation,” Hasan Haniyeh, an expert in the affairs of Islamic groups, told Anadolu Agency, adding:

Everyone knows that the Brotherhood is the largest and best-organised political force in Jordan

 

Read: Jordan lawmaker accuses his nation’s army of protecting Israel

In 2015, the Jordanian government declared the Brotherhood illegal and gave the license to a splinter Brotherhood group.

The move came as the main Muslim Brotherhood group was under a harsh security crackdown in Egypt following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president and a Brotherhood leader, in a 2013 military coup.

Last year, a Brotherhood-led coalition won 15 seats in Jordan’s parliamentary election after the group boycotted the vote in 2013 to protest against electoral laws.

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