Jordan votes for first post Arab Spring parliament
Jordanians headed to the polls early Wednesday to select the country's first parliament since the outbreak of the Arab Spring uprisings, amid opposition boycott, dpa reported.
Polling stations across the country opened at 700 am (0400 GMT) to cast their ballot in an elections Amman claims will lead to the country's first-ever parliamentary government.
Some 2.2 million of 3 million eligible Jordanians have registered for the polls, in which 1,400 candidates are standing for the 150-seat Lower House of Parliament.
Observers expect the polls' outcome to have little impact on the political stability of Jordan, where the King retains the constitutional authority to appoint and dismiss governments, dissolve parliament and appoint judiciary.
Last week, King Abdullah II announced the incoming parliament would form the next government through "consultations" with the Royal Court, stopping short of guaranteeing a transfer of authority.
The Muslim Brotherhood - Jordan's largest opposition force - is boycotting the poll in protest over a one-vote electoral system and complex districting - which, critics claim, favour regime loyalists at the expense of political parties.
Their absence has left a field dominated by tribalists and conservative independents, with less than 60 candidates representing political parties.
Some 7,500 local and international monitors are observing the polls, which are being overseen by the recently-established independent electoral commission.
Polls will close at 7 pm (1600 GMT) and initial results are due two hours later, with full official results expected on Thursday.