AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Published — Thursday 24 January 2013
Last update 23 January 2013 10:26 pm
AMMAN: Jordanians voted yesterday in a Parliamentary poll, snubbed by Muslim Brotherhood who have staged strident pro-reform protests and have already slammed as illegitimate what is expected to be an opposition-free body.
The Independent Election Commission announced a turnout of 31.8 percent of the registered electorate of 2.3 million eight hours after polling stations opened at 0400 GMT.
“The nation will not come to a halt at the request of this party or that group,” Prime Minister Abdallah Nsur told a news conference.
He dismissed claims that Jordanians were not turning out in numbers to vote after the Brotherhood boycotted the election.
“If people do not want to vote, it is because they were not convinced of the performance of past Parliaments or electoral integrity,” he said.
A total of 1,425 candidates, including around 140 former MPs and 191 women, are contesting 150 seats in Parliament’s lower house.
After voting in his hometown of Salt northwest of Amman, Nsur insisted that “this time, the elections are clean.”
“After the elections, I will submit my resignation to his majesty the king. It is up to him to decide,” the premier said.
Rented cars in Amman and other cities ferried voters to polling stations, where supporters of the candidates gathered hoping to sway the undecided, offering them coffee and sweets before and after casting their ballots.
“We respect all political parties and their views. But this is a democratic march, and boycotting is not a solution,” Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told AFP.