Protesters unhappy with election results riot in aftermath of Jordanian vote

AMMAN, Jordan — Rioting broke out overnight in towns across Jordan over the results of this week’s parliamentary elections, a police spokesman said Thursday.

Maj. Mohammed al-Khatib said about 400 people in six towns and a Palestinian refugee camp protested on the roads late Wednesday, burning tires, smashing cars and pelting security forces with stones. There were no reports of injuries but vehicles and street signs were damaged.

The protesters claimed the election results from Tuesday’s balloting were “fraudulent” and that their candidates should have won, al-Khatib said.

The worst demonstration took place on the main highway linking Amman to Syria, according to al-Khatib, where police fired tear gas to disperse protesters. Police also used tear gas to disperse a crowd outside the southwestern town of Kerak, where protesters denounced the killing of a 25-year-old man in a shootout between supporters of rival tribal candidates on election day.

Al-Khatib said dozens were detained and freed hours later, after questioning. “We didn’t want to add to the tensions and decided to release the protesters,” he said, without elaborating.

Loyalists of King Abdullah II won a majority of parliament seats in the vote, marred by an Islamist opposition boycott and 53 incidence nationwide.

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