Jordanian security forces raided the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Amman on Wednesday after the country’s largest opposition group said it would defy the government’s ban on holding a vote to elect its leaders.
Authorities also searched offices nationwide and seized assets, saying the Brotherhood is an unregistered party, Muath Khawaldeh, the group’s spokesman, said by phone. The group had planned to go ahead with the election of its own Shura council later this month despite having been told not to by the government, he said.
King Abdullah II, whose Hashemite family has ruled the former British protectorate since the 1920s, has joined a regional crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group whose stated aim is to gain power through elections.
The party’s stance on regional and local issues have long provoked authorities, such as its vocal criticism of a peace deal with Israel. Seeking to improve its image at home, the Jordanian group earlier this year announced it was severing ties with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned by authorities there in 2013 after the army’s removal of an Islamist president.
Hammam Saeed, leader of the Brotherhood in Jordan, called for self-restraint among its members in a statement on the movement’s website. He also said that the action by authorities was unjustified.