Jordanian MPs Brawl Over Elections Law
Jordanian legislators scuffled over a heated debate on the electoral law Sunday, causing the session of parliament to be abrubtly ajourned. Tensions are on the rise as MPs discuss the final approval of the most recent draft elections law. Monarchist lawmaker Yahya Saud and Jamil Nimri brawled after Nimri proposed amendments that would raise the number of seats reserved for candidates running on party lists, a move that would strengthen opposition parties. In addition, 20 other MPs vowed to resign if parliament does not overhaul the election law that critics feel favors regime loyalists.
Meanwhile, the Jordanian Artists’ Association announced Sunday that it will stage an outdoor “sleep-in” to bring attention the group’s on going protest. The group, which includes actors, singers, and musicians, began a sit-in eight days ago to criticize the government’s lack of response toward their cause. “We are calling for a national project that would save the country’s cultural face. We are not protesting for food or money. We are intellectual people who have the right to be visible,” JAA President Hussein Khatib told The Jordan Times. “We want to be given the chance to depict the reality of Jordan,” Khatib said.” The artists’ demands include the establishment of an art production company and incentives to encourage investment in the arts.