Parliamentary Chamber: Majlis Al-Nuwaab


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  Majlis Al-Nuwaab

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  8 November 1989

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in the House of Deputies in the first such poll since April 1967.

Background and outcome of elections:

  General elections for the then 60-member House of Deputies took place in April 1967, two months before the occupation of the West Bank of the Jordan River by Israel. The House was dissolved in November 1974 and recalled to session in January 1984. By-elections were subsequently held for vacant seats until July 1988, when the House was again dissolved by royal decree. In the meantime, the 30-member appointed Senate continued to function.

Revised electoral laws, announced in April 1989, foresaw a new, 72-seat House, with an increase in seats so as to take account of population growth. A further eight seats were subsequently allocated to three of the eight governorates, bringing the total to 80.

A total of 647 candidates (including 12 women) contested these seats in the November 1989 elections. Most were independents, as the ban on political parties remained in force. An exception was the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), which could nominate House candidates due to its legal status as a charity rather than a party; calling for, inter alia, the imposition of sharia (Islamic law), its principal slogan was "Islam is the solution". Debate during the lively three-week campaign related primarily to the country’s mounting economic problems (foreign debt, inflation) and political reforms. King Hussein appealed to voters to separate religion from politics.

On polling day, the MB won 20 seats. It was furthermore estimated that (a) 12 to 14 seats went to independent Islamic candidates allied to the MB, (b) seven seats were won by Palestinian or Arab nationalist candidates and (c) four seats went to supporters of leftist political groupings. The remaining (30 to 35) seats were won by candidates generally considered supporters of the Government. The overall positive showing of opposition candidates was regarded as surprising. Only a handful of incumbents were successful.

At a news conference two days after the vote, King Hussein pledged to continue the process of reform and democratization, and said that a new national charter would be drawn up. On 4 December, he appointed Mr. Mudar Badran as the new Prime Minister. The new Cabinet was named on 6 December.

Round no 1 (8 November 1989): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 877,475
Voters 63%

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 80
Women: 0

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Copyright 1989 Inter-Parliamentary Union