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Pro-government candidates sweep Jordan election

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Pro-government candidates sweep Jordan election
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Pro-government candidates have swept to victory in Jordan’s parliamentary elections.

The majority of seats in the country’s 120 member assembly went to loyalists closely aligned to King Addullah. 13 women also won seats.

Despite violence and an opposition boycott Jordan’s pro-western government hailed the 53 percent turnout.

But, Jordan’s main Islamic opposition, which refused to take part in the poll because of a change in the electoral law, criticised the result.

Secretary-General of the Islamic Action Front said:
‘‘This outcome is painful and I’m afraid there will be a reaction among Jordanians, who may start thinking what is the point of elections. Then, the government can have unilateral rule of the country and there won’t be a need for a legislature.’‘

The poll was marred by several clashes between rival supporters of candidates, including the fatal shooting of a 25 year old man in the southern city of Karak.

In the capital Amman, police also used tear gas to disperse crowds.

Our Middle East correspondent Mohamed Elhamy said:’‘Apart from one female candidate, who won a seat outside the quota system, there’s been no real surprises in the outcome of Jordan’s parliamentary results, which has been dominated by independent and tribal parties in the absence of the main opposition.’‘