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Islamist splinter group prepares to register political party

By Khetam Malkawi - May 02,2016 - Last updated at May 02,2016

AMMAN — The Elders Group, a group of Islamist “reformists” who have defected from the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, late last year, have decided to register a new political party.

Led by veteran Islamist Hamzah Mansour, the group will register their party in the upcoming few days after they have completed feasibility studies and the documents needed for this purpose, according to Ghaith Qudah, one of its members.

“The party will be a national one that believes in equal opportunities, democracy and human rights,” Qudah told The Jordan Times on Monday, adding that the party will be open for anyone to join without “reservations”.

He also noted that it will not have an “Islamic identity”, but will be based on the foundations of a civil state.

Qudah said the majority of the Elders Group members showed their interest in joining it.

The group has more than 400 members, including top leaders and founding members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement and the IAF who resigned from the party last December.

Mansour, the former IAF secretary general, Abdul Hamid Qudah and Salem Falahat, members of its top authority, the shura council, were among the leaders who jumped ship. 

Meanwhile, leaders of the National Building Initiative (Zamzam), another group of Islamist defectors led by Erheil Gharaibeh urged the public to join their projected political party.

Leaders of the initiative said the projected political party, which will be launched under the name “National Conference Party”, will be civil, non-aligned, inclusive and of purely national goals resting on the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

On his Facebook page, Gharaibeh posted a call inviting any Jordanian who is interested in the projected party’s objectives to join.

The Zamzam initiative was launched in 2012 by moderate Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and other political figures, who made proposals to address the challenges facing the Kingdom. The Brotherhood rejected the move, which was seen as a sign of disarray within its ranks.


The Muslim Brotherhood later expelled three leading members Gharaibeh, Nabil Kofahi and Jamil Dheisat over their involvement in the initiative.

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