Jordanian pro-regime parliamentary candidates secure majority

Pro-regime Jordanian candidates have garnered the majority of parliamentary seats in Tuesday's parliamentary poll, according to semi-formal results publicized the following day. Islamist groups and candidates largely boycotted the election.

According to Jordanian state TV, the sole Islamist candidate to challenge the decision of Islamic Action Front Party, a Muslim Brotherhood off-shoot group, was elected to parliament.

The new parliament designates 12 female quota seats, according to May legislative amendments to election law.

Poll related violence left one Jordanian dead, two injured and twenty arrested.

The fatality and injuries occurred during a shootout between supporters of rival candidates. The arrests were made after the accused allegedly tried to prevent others from voting.

According to media reports, security and police forces intervened in other election quarrels, including stone-throwing incidents, which occurred mostly in rural and Bedouin areas that possess traditional ties to the regime.

State-run media and the National Center for Human Rights reported, however, the polling process was conducted smoothly, barring a few minor violations which included attempts at multiple voting and the use of false IDs.

Only 53 percent of registered voters reportedly went to the ballot box. In some areas the turnout was as low as 34 percent.

Analysts emphasized the low turnout could be attributed to the Islamic Action Front boycott, which made the decision because of expectations of rigging. Critics say Jordan's 2007 elections were marred by irregularities.

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