Jordan's King Abdullah issues decree to hold parliamentary elections, state media

Parliament ended its four-year term last May and the king had the option to either extend its term or dissolve it

  
Jordan's King Abdullah adjusts his tie during a welcome ceremony for Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades before a trilateral summit with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to expand cooperation in the East Mediterranean region, in Amman, Jordan April 14, 2019.

Jordan's King Abdullah adjusts his tie during a welcome ceremony for Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades before a trilateral summit with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to expand cooperation in the East Mediterranean region, in Amman, Jordan April 14, 2019.

REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN  - Jordan's King Abdullah issued a royal decree to hold a parliamentary election, with the date to be set within the next 10 days by an independent election commission, state media said.

Jordan's electoral law marginalises representation of political parties. Constitutionally, most powers rest with the king, who appoints governments and approves legislation.

The election will be held at a time the aid-dependant country grapples with a severe economic contraction with the impact of COVID-19 amid heightened worries about any unilateral Israeli move to annex territory in the occupied West Bank.

Officials fear that annexation would bury the prospect of a viable Palestinian state and eventually bring a settlement of the decades-old conflict at the expense of Jordan, a country where many people are descendants of Palestinian refugees whose families left after the creation of Israel in 1948.

Jordan’s main political opposition comes from a party drawn from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood movement but it faces legal curbs on its activities.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Alison Williams) ((suleiman.al-khalidi@thomsonreuters.com; +96279-5521407;))

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