Jordan's King Abdullah Won This Round

(INSS-Tel Aviv University) Oded Eran - Prior to the parliamentary elections in Jordan on Jan. 23, 2013, King Abdullah II agreed to some changes to the election law, but these were mostly cosmetic and certainly not enough to limit the monarch's power in any significant way. Because the Muslim Brotherhood boycotted the election, it is difficult to assess its strength. On two occasions, the opposition tried to rally its supporters to participate in anti-election demonstrations, but the number of protesters fell far below the number expected by the organizers. In another indicator, while the Muslim Brotherhood sought to keep voter turnout low, 70% registered to vote despite the pressure of the opposition. At this stage of the domestic power struggle, the King has the upper hand. The fact that 19 women were elected - a new record in Jordanian history - only strengthens the reliability of the election results in the eyes of most Jordanians. One may assume that the Muslim Brotherhood's failure to stabilize its rule in Egypt and the horrors of the violence in Syria will limit the power of Jordan's opposition, but the King's future path is hardly rosy. The writer, a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies, is a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan and the EU.

2013-02-01 00:00:00

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