A boy rides past an election campaign poster in Amman ahead of the Sept. 20 general elections.
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After years of self-imposed political exile, Jordan's influential Muslim Brotherhood is gearing up to compete in next week's general election aiming to re-establish its role as a major parliamentary force.Brotherhood officials and analysts say the Sept. 20 vote will pose a key test of the ability of the state to hold a fair election and of its willingness to accept a result that may boost the Islamists.The Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the Brotherhood, was once the largest party in parliament, winning 22 out of 80 seats in 1989 .Unemployment is running at 14 percent and last month the International Monetary Fund approved a $723 million three-year line of credit to Jordan to support economic and financial reforms.Rentawi said he expected the Islamists to win 20 out of the 130 seats in next week's election.For analyst Labib Qamhawi, however, allowing the IAF to gain more seats could further destabilize the kingdom – something the royal court may not countenance.
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