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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Democracy, Jordanian style

From AP:
Jordanians lined up to cast ballots for a new parliament Tuesday in a vote that was dominated by anger at Israel over stalled peace talks and widespread frustration over an economic crisis in the U.S.-allied kingdom.

A boycott by the largest opposition group, the fundamentalist Islamic Action Front, made it likely that pro-government politicians and tribesmen with strong ties to the king - who has the final say on all matters - would sweep the vote.

That means that any criticism from the new parliament over King Abdullah's pro-Western policies or pressure from lawmakers for a tougher stance with Israel would likely only be cosmetic.
There is already one death:
Jordan's police spokesman says a shootout between supporters of two rival candidates contesting the country's parliamentary election has killed a 25-year-old man.

The spokesman says six others were wounded before police arrived at the scene in Imrea, a small town on the edge of the southwestern city of Kerak.
Ammon News mentions a number of incidents during the elections. In the place that the person was killed, there were shots fired in the air, fights between supporters of rival candidates, and cars smashed. Shots were fired in Mazar, as well as Madaba. Some people tried to vote multiple times. There was another skirmish with gunshots in Kufranja as one group tried to prevent another from voting. In Amman, a group attacked a polling station at a school and a brawl erupted outside another school. Tear gas was shot to disperse rioters. More riots in Qadisiyah as voters were preented from casting ballots by their opponents; rioters stoned police. A candidate's motorcade was attacked with sticks and rocks, and he suffered head injuries. There are also complaints that people who are now on Hajj could not vote as there are no absentee ballots.

And, in general, Jordanian officials are calling the polling "peaceful."