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Once united Islamists to face off in upcoming polls

By Khetam Malkawi - Jul 28,2016 - Last updated at Jul 28,2016

AMMAN — The National Building Initiative (Zamzam), a group of Muslim Brotherhood defectors, is forming coalitions to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections, a founding member announced on Wednesday.

Zamzam was launched in 2012 by moderate Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and other political figures. It has since then put forward suggested solutions to address the challenges facing the Kingdom at various levels. 

Although registration of the initiative’s political party has yet to be approved, some Zamzam leaders have already announced that they will run in the September 20 elections and coalitions have been already formed, according to Nabil Kofahi, a co-founder.

Kofahi said two lists had been formed in Irbid governorate in partnership with tribal and political leaders from outside the initiative who share the same interests and concerns.

Kofahi told The Jordan Times that although Zamzam leaders were not fully satisfied with the new Election Law, the group would not boycott the vote and it encourages voters to participate in the poll. 

There is a disappointment among some Jordanian voters concerning the performance of the last Parliament and allegations of vote rigging, Kofahi pointed out. 

 “We hope to lead change… That is why we will take part,” Kofahi said, adding that members of the initiative were holding debates and meetings in their constituencies towards that end. 

Meanwhile the Elders, another splinter group that abandoned the Muslim Brotherhood and its political party, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), said its members would participate in elections on an individual basis, as the group would not form tickets. 

Ghaith Qudah, a member of the Elders, said the group was registering as a political party but, “we will not form lists for the purpose of taking part in the parliamentary elections”.

He said that members agreed that participation in the elections would be personal and based on the capabilities of the candidate.

As for the IAF, the party’s spokesperson Murad Adaileh said consultations were ongoing regarding partnerships and electoral candidates.  

The new Muslim Brotherhood Society, formed by defectors from the seven-decade-old Muslim Brotherhood, will also take part in the elections, but names and coalitions have not been announced yet.

The Muslim Brotherhood Society was registered in 2015, and henceforth, the older Muslim Brotherhood was considered illegal. 

On Wednesday, leftists and pan-Arab political parties formed a coalition to run for the elections through tickets across the Kingdom. 


On Tuesday, a group of 10 political parties announced an alliance to participate in the elections, saying that lists were in the making.

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