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Polls open in Jordan

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 01:20

Jan. 23 - Parliamentary elections start in Jordan but the Muslim Brotherhood's party - the single biggest party in Jordan - are boycotting them. Simon Hanna reports.

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Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour casts his ballot in the country's parliamentary elections. The Prime Minister said these elections are free and fair. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JORDANIAN PRIME MINISTER ABDULLAH ENSOUR: "The government is impartial. It has no candidates, it did not support anybody. It did not shut the eyes from any nepotism or corruption. This time these are clean elections." The elections are the first to take place in the Kingdom since the political unrest gripped the region, bringing once marginalised Islamists to power in countries like Egypt and Tunisia. There is no chance of that happening here though, with the popular Muslim Brotherhood boycotting the election. The Brotherhood say the electoral system is biased against large populated urban areas where they are strongest, and favours rural tribal areas where pro government forces are entrenched. Their political arm, the Islamic Action Front, is the single biggest party in Jordan. Its leader says the parliament will lack legitimacy. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CHIEF OF THE ISLAMIC ACTION FRONT, SHEIKH HAMZEH MANSOUR: "The number of voters has been low, and the members of parliament work only for their own benefit, then how do you expect any legitimacy for the parliament?" EU election monitors say they have observed minor irregularities in the vote, such as campaigning outside polling stations.

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Polls open in Jordan

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 01:20