Jordan Votes: Election or Selection?

Issue Date April 2011
Volume 22
Issue 2
Page Numbers 119-129
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The 2010 Jordanian elections did not provide the fresh start toward democracy that the government had promised. Citizens continued to view candidates as potentially providing access to state resources but not as solving the country’s problems. Believing people from their personal network provide them privileged support, they participated in campaigns and voted according to social relations rather than political platforms. On its part, the regime used institutional and extra-legal mechanisms to shift parliamentary seats to its core supporters and restrict access of those who call for fundamental reform. Jordanians of East Bank origin won the majority of seats, leaving the majority of Jordanian citizens largely excluded. It is thus not surprising that Jordan currently faces strong calls for change.