Islamists reject offer to join new Jordan government

Hundreds of Jordanians protested against King Abdullah`s govt reshuffle.

Last Updated: Feb 06, 2011, 18:03 PM IST

Amman: Jordan`s Islamist opposition said
today it has rejected an offer to join a new government headed
by Prime Minister Marruf Bakhit and tasked with enhancing
reforms.

"We have received an offer to join to the government of
Marruf Bakhit, but we refused," Hamzah Mansur, leader of the
powerful Islamic Action Front (IAF), the politial arm of the
Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan said.

"We did not discuss the details of the offer, but all
what I can say is that taking part in this government under
the current circumstances is out of the question," he said.

While the IAF`s internal bylaws do not prevent the
Islamists from joining government, "acceptable participation
for us is the one that comes through national consensus and
parliamentary elections," he added.

"We are not asking for miracles. Our demands are
realistic, practical and doable. We demand early general polls
in line with a new electoral law."

The IAF boycotted the general election in November in
protest at constituency boundaries set up under a new
electoral law, which it said over-represented rural areas
considered loyal to the government.

Bakhit said yesterday that his cabinet -- which he hopes
to have in place by Thursday -- would "include personalities
who are credible and close to the people."

King Abdullah II instructed the 64-year-old career
soldier and past prime minister to undertake a sweeping
programme of political and economic reforms following street
protests.

When Bakhit was appointed, the Islamist opposition
questioned his reformist credentials. But Islamist leaders
expressed satisfaction on Friday after meeting both him and
the monarch.

PTI