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Opposition boycotts Jordan's "sham" election

Opposition boycotts Jordan's "sham" election
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Anger at the stalled Middle East peace process, an continuing economic slump, and scepticism at the political process have dominated elections in Jordan.

The poll was overshadowed by a boycott from the main opposition parties. Liberal groups and the Islamic Action Front refused to take part, saying antiquated laws favour tribal areas loyal to the Royalist government, at the expense of highly-politicised Islamic towns and cities.

King Abdullah dissolved parliament a year ago, demanding genuine reforms. But critics say the system is weighted towards the status quo, and little will change.

Jordan was hard-hit by 2008’s world economic crisis as it relies heavily on foreign aid and investment, and money from workers living abroad.

The opposition says Amman has not been tough enough on Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians, amid fears that, if the Middle East peace talks fail, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians could be expelled from the West Bank into Jordan.

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