Islamists stage a comeback after winning JBA elections

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Murad Al-Adayleh addressing a meeting that followed his election as secretary-general of the Islamic Action Front party last Friday. (Photo: Facebook)
AMMAN — Mainstream Islamists staged a comeback, winning two separate elections last week.

The Jordan Bar Association elected lawyer Yahya Abu Abood as its president on Friday, when Murad Al-Adayleh was picked in separate elections as secretary-general of the Islamic Action Front party.اضافة اعلان

Analysts concurred that both victories point to the strong and clear return of moderate Islamists after their loss in elections at the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) last February. Subsequently, all Islamists boycotted provincial, municipal, and Greater Amman Municipality council elections on grounds that they were being intentionally marginalized.

Journalist Hilmi Al-Asmar said that the Islamists “have not been intentionally absent during the last period, but have been forced out of the scene”.

“If appropriate conditions were there to hold any elections, their presence will be clear and strong,” he told Jordan News.

“The matter is not related to allowing the Islamists to return, but it is rather a reality that imposed itself, especially that they have been able to prove themselves with flying colors,” Asmar said.

He pointed out that Islamist have commonly had good experience running Jordan’s Professional Associations and that their presence in syndicates “is beneficial to the country”.

Yahya Abu Abood is congratulated following his election as president of the Jordan Bar Association last Friday. (Photo: Twitter)

Lawmaker Saleh Al-Armouti said the double victory “is a message to decision-makers that the presence of Islamists is an integral part of the political movement in Jordan.”

 “The Islamists have a strong presence in the Jordanian street, and that the election of Abu Abood is a conclusive evidence that they are able to win the trust of all parties and that the national interest will prevail in the end,” he explained.

He maintained that “there is also a strong message for the state not to interfere with the process of the elections, especially that the voice of lawyers in these (JBA) elections was loud and free.”

“It is not permissible to interfere in elections, and voters must freely and democratically express their will, and the state must be aware of this matter”, he said.  He said that “the Islamists have never been against their country, but on the contrary, their primary concern is to take into account the interest of the country and the citizens.”

Columnist Omar Kallab, said the “ideology of political Islam in our country needs a radical review”. He said that the Islamists’ success in the elections “does not indicate a strong return, but rather it being the result of special circumstances”, which included polling technicalities, which allowed Abu Abode to win in the second round of JBA elections.

“Their (Islamists) political vision is scattered and needs to be reconsidered,” Kallab said.

Abu Abood, JBA’s newly elected president, told Jordan News that his association will seek to strengthen the principle of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

Going forward, he said, the syndicate will maintain its established national positions, which are part of the historical and national heritage based on the idea of supporting the Palestinian people in liberating their land.

“We believe that supporting the Palestinian cause by resisting occupation and normalization is in the higher interest of Jordan,” he said.

He asserted that Jordanian lawyers “support the position of His Majesty the King that Jerusalem is an independent Palestinian capital”.

He concluded that JBA has an important role in shaping public opinion and defending Jordan’s interests, adding that “we will continue to reject all forms of dealing with the Israeli enemy.”

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