AMMAN — Leftist, Baathist and nationalist party members gathered outside the Prime Ministry on Saturday calling for enacting a democratic elections law based on proportional representation.
The participants, who represented the Jordan Communist, Jordan Socialist Baath, Baath Progressive, National Unity and Hashd parties, raised slogans that described the proportional list system as the only truly democratic option for electoral reform in the Kingdom.
"The proportional list is the backbone of democracy… our demands for a parliamentary government are legitimate," the protesters chanted.
The timing of the protest coincided with the opposition parties' recent decision to formulate a new policy that enables them to have a joint economic and political vision for Jordan’s future.
The parties decided to stage a "symbolic" protest yesterday, with the participation of just a few dozen activists, after Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh said he would refer the elections law to the Lower House in March.
"It does not need all that time to come up with an ideal elections law. We wonder why the premier has postponed deliberations over the outcomes of the National Dialogue Committee for so long," Jordanian Communist Party Deputy Secretary General Faraj Tomeizi told The Jordan Times yesterday.
He argued that the premier is "not showing a genuine interest" in the findings of the committee, but on the contrary, has "shown apathy towards them".
"The prime minister said it bluntly, that he is not obligated by the results of the national dialogue," Tomeizi pointed out.
He expressed concern that the government is waiting to see the result of developments in the region before deciding on issues that affect the Kingdom's political life.
Protesters pledged to continue their rallies until they see "genuine" changes, particularly in terms of enacting an elections law based on the proportional list.
Late last year, the government decided to refer the political parties, constitutional court and elections laws to the Lower House in January, February and March respectively.