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Jordan holds parliamentary elections amid virus surge

Jordanians began voting on Tuesday to elect a new parliament in the country that has long been a close Western ally in a volatile region and is now struggling to contain a coronavirus outbreak.

PTI | Amman | Updated: 10-11-2020 15:42 IST | Created: 10-11-2020 15:28 IST
Jordan holds parliamentary elections amid virus surge
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Jordanians began voting on Tuesday to elect a new parliament in the country that has long been a close Western ally in a volatile region and is now struggling to contain a coronavirus outbreak. Voters will elect 130 members of the lower house of parliament, with 15 seats reserved for women, nine for Christians and three for minority Chechens and Circassians. Jordan's government is more representative than others in the Middle East, but most power is held by King Abdullah II, who appoints the government and can dissolve parliament at any time.

More than 4.5 million Jordanians are eligible to vote in 23 constituencies. Political parties, including one linked to the Muslim Brotherhood group, are allowed to participate, but the electoral system favours tribal candidates, businessmen and independents who are loyal to the king, and the monarch appoints all members of the country's senate. Jordan borders both Syria and Iraq, and hosts large numbers of Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

Authorities say they have taken measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at polling stations, but the outbreak could dampen participation. The government has imposed periodic lockdowns and curfews since the start of the pandemic. It plans to impose a 24-hour curfew for four days, beginning Wednesday.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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