ASIA/JORDAN - Elections, seats reserved for Christians assigned to nine men. The number of women in Parliament decreases

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 middle east   oriental churches   women   religious minorities   ethnic minorities   elections   muslim brotherhood  

Amman (Agenzia Fides) - The nine newly elected within the framework of parliamentary seats reserved for Christians are all men and they belong to different Churches and ecclesial communities. The official and definitive figures of the Jordanian parliamentary elections held on Tuesday 10 November were made public by the Independent Electoral Commission, stating that only 29 percent of the potential 4 million and 640 thousand voters of the Hashemite Kingdom went to the polls. In the previous parliamentary elections in 2016, the turnout was 36%.
In the Jordanian electoral system, 9 of the 130 parliamentary seats are reserved for Christian, while three seats are reserved for ethnic minorities of the Circassians and Chechens.
There were 1,717 candidates running, including 368 women, but the electoral commission confirmed that the female presence will decrease in the new Parliament, from 20 to 15 parliamentarians. The quota system for women in Parliament provides for 15 seats, which means that in this election no woman was elected beyond the number of reserved seats. The imbalance between the sexes is even more noticeable among elected Christians since they are all nine of the male sex.
The election results guarantee control of the majority of seats to members and forces linked to the tribal clans who traditionally support the government, appointed by the Monarch.
The Islamic Action Front (AIF), a Jordanian Islamist Party linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, continues to represent the main anti-government opposition force, but in the recent electoral round it gained only 10 seats, a sharp decline from the 15 seats it occupied in the previous parliamentary Assembly. The elections - analysts agree – took place in a climate of general apathy, marked by the economic crisis - also linked to the huge number of Syrian refugees present on the national territory and by the resumption of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to data from the Ministry of Health, out of a population of 10 million inhabitants the cases of infection from Covid-19 have so far been more than 126 thousand, with almost 1,500 deaths. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 17/11/2020)

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