Political Parties

General Description - Jordanian political parties

Although political parties go back to the founding of the Jordanian state (the constitution of 1952 stated the right of citizens to set up and join political parties, as did the Political Parties Law of 1955) the country's experience of party politics has been poor. Parties were banned for more than three decades between 1957 and 1989. Since that date, old parties came out of clandestinity and multiple new parties emerged to participate in the different legislative elections of the last twenty years. However, poor organisation and lack of funds, as well as an electoral system that has traditionally favoured independent candidates have severely limited political parties participation in political life.

As such, many parties are one-man shows organised around a single influential politician, some serve niche groups or represent off-centre ideologies, while others are near-empty shells whose only creed is to support the Palace. Perhaps the sole exception to this rule is the Islamic Action Front, the Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is well-known, organised and has clear party principles.