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Violence Mars Parliamentary Voting in Jordan

A Jordanian woman casts her vote in a polling station in Amman, Jordan, 09 Nov 2010

There has been scattered unrest in Jordan, where voters have cast ballots to select a new parliament.

Police say they arrested about 30 people in the western city of Madaba Tuesday for carrying knives and axes as they headed to a polling station. Authorities say a drunk driver injured two people after he drove his vehicle through a voting center near Amman.

Also, the Associated Press said one person was killed and six injured in a clash between supporters of rival candidates near the southwestern city of Kerak.

More than 700 candidates were running for 120 seats in the lower house of parliament in an election that most observers said was devoid of any real opposition.

Most of the candidates come from tribes or parties loyal to King Abdullah, after Jordan's largest opposition group decided to boycott the vote. The opposition Islamic Action Front says new election rules unfairly diminish the value of votes from urban areas, where its support is strongest.

The group is the political wing of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood.

Jordan has been functioning without a parliament since King Abdullah dissolved the body last year following criticism it was ineffective.

Some of the issues of biggest concern to Jordanian voters during the election campaign have been Jordanian policy toward Israel and the country's struggling economy.

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