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Two major House blocs to join ranks with Mubadara

By Khaled Neimat - Apr 21,2014 - Last updated at Apr 21,2014

AMMAN — Two major groups within the Lower House are planning to join forces based on agreed-upon programmes and policies, a parliamentary source said on Monday.

On Tuesday, four representatives of the recently formed National Parliamentary Alliance — which includes the Watan (Homeland) and Islamic Centrist Party blocs — will meet with members of the Mubadara group to negotiate the formation of a larger alliance, MP Mustafa Hamarneh, Mubadara’s spokesperson, told The Jordan Times.

Mubadara, a House-based group aspiring to form a shadow government, is credited for being the first “bloc” that has suggested answers to the country’s woes in various fields, as it has officially released policy papers with plans to reform major sectors.

“This is the first time ever that such a large group of MPs [62] has come together under one programme away from personal motivations,” Hamarneh said, describing the move as a “transformation” in the Lower House.

The National Parliamentary Alliance, which includes 35 deputies, has agreed in principle to Mubadara’s programme and policies, the MP added.

The Mubadara group, founded by Hamarneh and led by veteran lawmaker Saad Hayel Srour, has engaged in talks with the government to find solutions to deep-rooted problems, including those related to human rights and education, among others, and gained ground in some respects.

Most recently, the 27-member group, which has developed into a heavyweight lobby in the 150-member House, reached an agreement with the government to grant civil rights to the children of Jordanian women married to foreigners.

The National Parliamentary Alliance is also another force in the Lower House that is led by Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh.

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