Jordan heads for historic poll after revamped laws

Sep 20, 2016, 7:29 AM EDT
(Source: Vyacheslav Argenberg/flickr)
(Source: Vyacheslav Argenberg/flickr)

With a revamped electoral system, Jordan heads for a historic parliamentary election on Tuesday amid likelihood that the opposition Islamists would stage a political comeback after boycotting last two elections. The recent electoral shake-up holds great importance for Jordan, as the Kingdom’s stability remains threatened by regional wars, a mounting refugee crisis, and a sluggish economy.

Jordan has replaced a controversial one-person-one-vote system with a list-based system designed to encourage political parties, prompting the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, to participate this year’s elections, reports Al Arabia.

Voter turnout in Jordan has generally hovered around 55 percent, writes Al Jazeera. Analysts attribute the low electoral participation to the parliament’s failure to challenge the government policies.

The youth, which is bearing the brunt of high unemployment rate in Jordan, is going to play a crucial role in this election, notes Albawaba. About 70 percent of Jordan’s population is under 30 and nearly one-third of this group is unemployed compared to an overall unemployment rate of 15 percent. Despite apathy towards the parliament, the millennials have shown rising level of interests in politics via different ways, which include voicing their opinions on social media platforms. 

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