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Main Opposition Party Withdraws From Jordanian Municipal Elections

Jordan's main opposition party has withdrawn from Tuesday's municipal elections, claiming fraud.

The Islamist Action Front pulled out after accusing the government of trying to influence the elections by ferrying tens of thousands of security forces personnel to vote. The government says the military personnel are eligible to cast ballots.

The vote is the first under a new law that allocates 20 percent of local council seats for women.

Under the changes, Jordanians are to elect all members of their municipal councils, including mayors, for all towns and cities, except Amman.

Jordan's king will appoint the capital's mayor and half of the city's council members - as he did for all towns and cities under the old system.

Officials said initial results could be expected hours after the polls close at 1700 hours local time (1400 UTC).

Nearly two million Jordanians are eligible to vote for nearly 1,000 municipal seats in cities and towns.

Jordan is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections later this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.