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Speakership race heats up as candidates lobby for support

By Raed Omari - Oct 10,2016 - Last updated at Oct 10,2016

AMMAN — The corridors of the Lower House have been busy recently, witnessing non-stop meetings of the newly elected MPs over the formation of blocs and the election of the chamber's speaker.

According to well informed parliamentary sources, candidates for the position of Lower  House speaker have been holding meetings "day and night" with their fellow MPs seeking their support.

In remarks to The Jordan Times on Monday, sources expected a fierce competition among candidates.

"So far, MPs Atef Tarawneh, Abdul Karim Dughmi, Abdullah Akaileh, Khamis Atiyyeh, Mazen Qadi and Ahmad Safadi have announced their intention to run in the speakership race," one source said, identifying the first three as the strongest candidates. 

"For reasons related to accumulated legislative experience, political charisma and tribal influence, Tarawneh, Dughmi and Akaileh are so far the strongest candidates," the source, who requested anonymity, added.

Both Dughmi and Tarawneh have served as House speakers in previous parliaments.

To ensure the broadest support, the sources added that some candidates are forming blocs or gathering more members into existing blocs.

“They look like they are in a race against time before the beginning of the ordinary session.”

A Royal Decree was issued on Thursday, summoning Parliament to convene for its first ordinary session on November 7.

According to the sources, the blocs formed so far are: Watan (nation) bloc, Reform bloc and Change bloc. Watan has nominated Tarawneh for the speaker position and Akaileh is Reform’s candidate, they said.

MPs Qadi and Safadi are expected to unveil a bloc they are currently forming, while deputies Wafaa Bani Mustafa and Atiyyeh are forming a coalition to be named ”the Democratic Current” bloc,   the sources said. 

“So far, no bloc has been officially registered at the House’s secretariat,” one source said. 






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