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Brotherhood set for internal reform overhaul

By Taylor Luck - Oct 19,2014 - Last updated at Oct 19,2014

AMMAN — The Jordan Muslim Brotherhood is set for an internal administrative overhaul after the movement’s leadership agreed on its largest reform initiative in nearly 20 years.

According to Zaki Bani Rsheid, deputy overall leader of the group, the movement’s shura council agreed late Thursday on an “internal reform initiative to shake up its electoral policies and leadership posts”.

One of the most drastic changes in the proposal, put forward by overall leader Hamam Saeed last Thursday, the position of overall leader of the movement is suggested to be directly elected by its general assembly rather than its 11-member executive office.

The overhaul plan also calls for a greater separation of the Brotherhood’s internal bodies, redefining the electoral process for the executive committee, strengthening internal party courts and granting greater independence to the movement’s political party, the Islamic Action Front (IAF).

According to Bani Rsheid, the Brotherhood’s shura council agreed to push through the reforms in November before holding new internal elections for leadership posts.

The initiative comes as a bid by the Brotherhood’s leadership to end a seven-month dispute between movement moderates and its hawkish wing, which currently dominates leadership posts.

As part of the reform initiative, Brotherhood leadership is expected to readmit three leading liberal members, Rheil Gharaibeh, Jamal Dheisat and Nabil Kofahi, whose memberships were terminated for their involvement in the Jordan Build Initiative, better known as Zamzam, in March.

Conservatives, led by Saeed, have in recent months come under pressure from the movement’s liberal and young members, who threatened en masse defections over what they declared as a “lack of reform and democracy” within the Islamist movement. 

Despite the controversy, conservatives have extended their control over the Brotherhood and its political branch, snaring over 70 of the IAF’s 90 shura council seats in an internal election held in May. 

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