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Islamist coalition lobbying for Lower House speakership — spokesperson

By Khetam Malkawi - Oct 01,2016 - Last updated at Oct 01,2016

AMMAN — The National Coalition for Reform, led by the Islamic Action Front, is lobbying deputies in the newly elected Parliament in a bid to win the speakership of the Lower House.

The coalition, which is the largest bloc under the Dome, nominated Abdullah Akaileh, a former minister and university professor, as its candidate to run for speaker of the House, which will convene for its first meeting and speakership election on November 7.

Dima Tahboub, the coalition’s spokesperson, said the bloc had started consultations with deputies from outside the coalition to lobby for the speakership, and also to build partnerships with other MPs to increase the bloc’s number. 

The coalition’s priorities are the recent controversial amendments to school curricula and the gas deal signed last week with Israel, said Tahboub, adding that these issues currently concern most political powers in the Kingdom. 

Earlier this year, Education Minister Mohammad Thneibat formed a committee of former ministers and education experts to review textbooks and offer detailed recommendations.

Several amendments were made to textbooks, which were met with a mixture of criticism and applause. The critics’ voices were more prominent, as they included the Jordan Teachers Association. 

Meanwhile, the government-owned National Electric Power Company on Monday signed a 15-year deal to buy gas from Israel, sparking outrage among activists and professional associations. 

The coalition has economic and legal consultants who are studying these issues and the bloc will announce its positions after the review, said Tahboub. 

 

The coalition ran in the September 20 elections on 20 lists with 119 candidates, and won 15 seats in the 130-member Lower House.

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