Jordan pro-government parties merge

A coalition of 11 Jordanian parties have announced their merger into a pro-government centrist front, in advance of a planned government reshuffle later this month.

    PM Faisal al-Faaiz (R) has said a reshuffle is due in October

    The Jordanian National Movement pulls together 11 small groups which have had little influence in a country with 32 political parties.


    At a founding ceremony, it said the movement's goal was to work to "achieve national loyalty, respect the constitution and the country's institutions" as well as "bolster national cohesion" among Jordanians.


    Last year Jordan's King Abdullah urged the country's politicians to regroup into three main parties covering the left-to-right spectrum and that would be widely represented across the country. 


    Political parties "including those of the opposition" have a role to play in developing a modern Jordan, the king told the opening session of parliament on 1 December.


    New election law


    "These political parties ... should be established and launched by the grassroots, not by individuals or groups that are brought together by transient interests," he said.


    "The goal is to work to achieve national loyalty, respect the constitution and the country's institutions"

    Jordanian National Movement in founding-ceremony statement

    His appeal was echoed last month by Prime Minister Faisal al-Faaiz as he announced plans to go ahead with a government reshuffle in the second half of October.


    In a television interview, Faaiz said one of the reshuffled government's key tasks would be to adopt a "new election law that will take into account the social make-up in Jordan".


    Jordan held parliamentary elections in June 2003 for the first time in three years, in which the main opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF) party won 17 seats in the 110-member lower house.



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