Jordan. The royal house strengthened its power by a new electoral law, which came into force in May, and by securing the majority of the mandate in the new parliamentary elections on November 9. The election was held after a year of direct royal rule since King Abdullah dissolved the former parliament in November 2009. The new electoral law meant a new system of constituencies that disadvantaged the cities, where most residents have a Palestinian background and are traditionally critical of the king’s domination.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Jordan has a population of 9.956 million (2018). The country’s main opposition party, the Islamic Action Front, which is the political branch of the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood, boycotted the election with reference to the new electoral law. After a power struggle between moderate Islamists, who wanted to focus on domestic politics, and more hard-working politicians who wanted to push the cause of the Palestinians, in June the party had a new leader, the moderate Hamzah Mansour. The election debate was about the boycott but also about the country’s economic problems. According to softwareleverage, the budget deficit was USD 2 billion and in August the country’s external debt was USD 11 billion, almost 60 percent of GDP. Most of the mandates were won by candidates loyal to the king, but an Islamist candidate who had not obeyed the boycott also came into parliament. International elections over watchers meant that the election was relatively fair, but criticized the electoral law. According to official figures, turnout was 53 percent but this was questioned by the opposition.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the two letter abbreviation of JO stands for the country of Jordan in geography.
In October, the American human rights organization Human Rights Watch criticized the arrest of 18 members of the opposition Party Popular Unit who had demonstrated outside the Prime Minister’s Office, as well as the arrest of some 30 young people who had demonstrated in support of the Islamic campaign front’s boycott.
A man was killed on August 2 when a rocket, of all judgments fired from Egypt and destined for an Israeli target in Eilat, struck in the Jordanian city of Aqaba on the Red Sea. Also in April, several short-range missiles landed in Aqaba but then without causing anything other than material damage.
The country’s demographic structure was affected by the difficult political situation created in the region after World War II. The constitution of the state of Israel and the first Arab-Israeli war, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank then have led successive immigration waves of Arab refugees and, therefore, the population has been gradually increasing (1, 3 million residents In in 1952, rose to 1, 7 ten years later). After more than thirty years, at the 1994 census, it had exceeded 4million residents in Transjordan alone, formally corresponding to the territory of the current Jordan, while over a million people reside in the West Bank. At a 1998 estimate, the population amounted to 6,304,000 residents Excluding the desert areas, which represent about 80 % of the country’s surface, the average density is very high and exceeds 200 residents / km ². Urbanism has also registered an accelerated and disordered growth not only linked to natural growth, but above all to the high concentration in the cities of residents of Palestinian origin, to which is added the intense urbanization of the nomadic population, favored in recent decades by the government intervention.