Middle East

Jordan sets general election for January 23

Jordan's new PM Abdullah Ensour speaks to the media after the swearing-in ceremony for the new cabinet at the Royal Palace in Amman October 11, 2012, led by reformist politician Ensour and charged with preparing for Jordan's first post-Arab Spring parliamentary elections. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN: Jordan's electoral authority on Tuesday set January 23 as the date for a general election, state media said, after King Abdullah II dissolved parliament in a bid to pave the way for sweeping reforms.

"In line with a royal decree to hold the upcoming parliamentary elections, the Independent Election Commission decided today to set the vote for Wednesday, January 23," the commission said in a statement carried by Petra news agency.

"Applications to run for parliament will start on December 22 and last for three days. Government employees who wish to run for parliament must resign before October 22."

More than two million voters have registered for parliamentary elections, the commission said on Monday.

Jordan has a population of 6.7 million, of whom 3.1 million are entitled to vote, according to the commission.

King Abdullah last week swore in a new government led by Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur to prepare for the election after he dissolved parliament at the start of October.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition movement, has said it will boycott the elections in protest at constituency boundaries, saying they over-represent loyalist rural areas at the expense of urban areas seen as Islamist strongholds.

It also wants a parliamentary system under which the prime minister is elected rather than named by the king.





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