Jordan moves to ban MB party

A pretty daring, and probably ill-advised, move that sends back Jordanian politics about two decades:

Jordan's parliament took legal measures on Monday to disqualify the Muslim Brotherhood's political party, the country's largest opposition movement.In a Lower House session, 46 out of 83 Jordanian lawmakers voted to add an item in the country's draft political parties law forbidding the establishment of any political party on a "religious basis."

The measure would disqualify the Islamic Action Front - the political branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and the country's largest political party - from taking part in upcoming parliamentary elections.

Islamists contend the amendment comes as "retaliation" for the Muslim Brotherhood's opposition to a proposed elections law observers say ensures the continued dominance of tribal regime loyalists over the legislative chamber.

Quite aside domestic politics, this echoes the very anti-MB moves by Gulf countries (especially the UAE) in recent months. The monarchist counter-revolutionary bloc is also increasingly becoming a counter-MB one.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.