Cable reference id: #03AMMAN2989

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Reference id aka Wikileaks id #8184  ? 

SubjectJordan’s Political Parties: Islamists, Leftists, Nationalists And Centrists
OriginEmbassy Amman (Jordan)
Cable timeTue, 20 May 2003 16:13 UTC
  • Time unknown: Original unredacted version, leaked to Wikileaks
  • Thu, 1 Sep 2011 23:24: Original unredacted version published, with HTML goodies
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 002989


E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/20/2013
TAGS: PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], PREL [External Political Relations], PHUM [Human Rights], SOCI [Social Conditions], JO [Jordan]

Classified By: Ambassador Edward W. Gnehm. Reasons 1.5 (B) and (D)


¶1. (U) This cable provides background on Jordan’s political
parties participating in upcoming parliamentary elections on
June 17. Jordan’s political landscape, runs the gamut from
religious to secular and from left to right, complicated by
tribal and family loyalties. The Islamic Action Front, the
political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, is by far the
largest, best funded and organized of all the political
parties. The other parties, smaller and less well organized,
often form blocs to field candidates during parliamentary


¶2. (U) The Islamic Action Front (IAF), by far the largest and
best organized political party in Jordan, was founded in 1992
by Muslim Brotherhood members and independent Islamists.
Membership is estimated to be around 5,000. There are two
factions within the party, the “doves” and the “hawks”. The
doves advocate openness, avoid confrontation with the
government and believe in constructive opposition regarding
the MEPP. Conversely, the hawks are hard liners who oppose
such a conciliatory policy. The IAF platform opposes the
GOJ’s peace treaty with Israel and calls for the
implementation of Islamic Shari’a law. The IAF boycotted the
1997 parliamentary elections protesting the so-called “one
man one vote” voting structure which, it claimed, unfairly
diluted its true electoral strength. The IAF has announced,
however, that although the “one man one vote” structure is
still in place it will participate in the June elections.

¶3. (U) Two other political parties round out the Islamist
political scene in Jordan with membership estimates at under
100 for each. The Democratic Arab Islamic Movement (Du’a’)
and the Muslim Centrist party are both moderate in nature.
The Du’a’ party is composed of both Muslims and Christians
and men and women, its aim being the enhancement of the
Muslim-Christian relationship. Its platform supports the
Palestinian cause, the independence of the judiciary, better
education opportunities, free media and enhanced economic,
social, cultural and political domains. It is one of five
parties comprising the National Council for Parties
Coordination bloc. The Du’a’s partners are the National
Constitution, Al-Ajyal, Al-Ummah and the Greens.

¶4. (U) The Muslim Centrist party advocates democracy and
pluralism. It is open to all members of the society
regardless of their religion, ethnic origin or affiliation.
It supports a role for women in society, student movements
and the economic and political reforms launched 12 years ago.
Many of its members are former Muslim Brothers who either
left the movement or were dismissed due to differences of


¶5. (U) The main leftist party is the Jordanian Communist
Party established in 1951. Estimates place membership at
under 200 for each of the leftist parties. The party is
committed to the causes of the masses, defending their
interests and voicing their aspirations. The Jordanian
Democratic Left party was established in 1994 by a former
Communist party member and sole Communist deputy member in
the 1989-1993 parliament. This party seeks to depart from
the narrow ideology of Stalinism and opposes Jordan’s peace
treaty with Israel. The Jordanian People’s Democratic party
(HASHD), the Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity party and the
Jordanian Communist Workers Party round out the leftist
political spectrum in Jordan. All three follow a similar
leftist ideology which opposes economic reform programs, the
Oslo agreement, and Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel. The
Communist Worker’s party also calls on the GOJ to refrain
from accepting World Bank and IMF conditions on Jordan,
blaming such conditions for the high rate of unemployment in
the Kingdom.


¶6. (U) The Nationalist political parties are offshoots of the
Ba’thist pan Arab movement. The main three parties are the
Jordan Arab Socialist Ba’thists, the Ba’th Arab Progressives
and the National Action Party. They all oppose the MEPP and
Jordan’s economic reform programs. All three had close
affiliations with the leadership in Iraq and Syria.
Membership in each party is estimated to be under 200.


¶7. (U) The Centrist parties are the National Constitutional
Party, Al-Nahda, the Jordanian Generations Party and the
Greens with members numbering in the hundreds. The first
three parties all advocate democracy as essential allowing
people to exercise their sovereignty and become the ruling
power by expressing their will and achieving their
aspirations. They all support the establishment of a
Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. The Greens
focus on Jordan’s environmental issues and making Jordanians
aware of the sources and causes of pollution.


¶8. (C) Of Jordan’s many political parties, the only one
considered genuinely influential is the IAF. The rest are
small and in disarray. Even with the forming of political
blocs to improve their chances during elections, infighting
and dissension within the blocs limit their influence over
Jordan’s political landscape. Evidence of the
ineffectiveness of Jordan’s political parties is that most
members in the last parliament ran as independents with no
political party affiliation and the same result can be
expected during the upcoming elections. Many analysts blame
the GOJ for not promoting a vibrant political environment and
argue that the government supports such a political
wasteland. For its part, the GOJ states that it envisions
the formation of three political parties, left, center and
right, as a more viable solution to the current splintered
political climate. In our view, while the development of
effective political parties is an integral part of the
maturation of democracy in Jordan, it is not something that
can be done from the top down, but must be an element in the
larger progress toward a vibrant civil society.