Jordanians in new parliament vote boycotted by Islamists

Jordan election

The Islamists won only six seats in the 2007 election but wield considerable influence on society. They object to existing constituency boundaries, which they say over-represent loyalist rural areas at the expense of Islamist urban bastions.

The polls come as Jordan faces acute economic problems, including a USD 5-billion budget deficit, and challenges in coping with more than 300,000 Syrian refugees who have fled their war-torn country.

King Abdullah has urged people to take part, calling the boycott "a tremendous miscalculation", and today has been declared a national holiday to encourage the 2.3 million registered voters to turn out.

Those who do turn out at the 1,484 polling stations will choose from 1,425 candidates, including around 140 former Mps and 191 women contesting 150 seats in parliament's lower house.

Some 47,000 police are being deployed to provide security.

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