Jordan is gearing up for its second round of voting for a new speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, with an uncertain path forward. The first round was deadlocked between two candidates: Nabil Kofahi from the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islamic Action Front and Khalid Al-Khalifa from the Arab nationalist Democratic Front. The two sides had agreed on a consensus candidate, but the vote failed when a third candidate entered the race.
Now, the two sides have had to come together and agree on a new candidate. The Muslim Brotherhood has reluctantly agreed to field Advancement bloc leader Abdul Rahman Dmour, while the Democratic Front has chosen former Prime Minister Taher al-Masri.
The second round is expected to take place later this month, but the odds of a successful vote remain uncertain. Both Dmour and al-Masri are controversial choices, as they have ties to former regimes and either could potentially drive off other members of the coalition. Furthermore, even if they are able to win the required majority of votes, the new speaker would only serve for a year before scheduled elections are set for November 2020.
Ultimately, it remains to be seen if Jordan can surmount its political differences and choose a new speaker who is acceptable to all sides. But, given the current deadlock, it is likely that the path ahead will continue to be filled with uncertainty.