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September 24, 2017

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Tribal leaders, loyalists look to win Jordan poll

AMMAN, Jordan--Tribal leaders, pro-regime loyalists and independent businessmen swept Jordan's parliamentary election that was shunned by Islamists, according to preliminary results released on Thursday.

Analysts say the new parliament will now be dominated by loyalists who will resist pressure for real political reform.

The Arab Spring that began two years ago and toppled four regimes across the region also sparked regular protests in Jordan, where a combination of youths and Islamists have been demanding sweeping reforms.

Their protests have become increasingly vocal and, during deadly November rioting over a sharp hike in fuel prices, there were unprecedented calls for the king to step down.

Abdullah II, whose throne is not seriously thought to be under threat, had touted Wednesday's election as a focal point for his reforms, which he said should pave the way for parliamentary government.

Among his reforms, he said that he plans for the first time to consult MPs before naming a premier, who should in turn then consult with MPs before forming a cabinet.

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