Jordan is gearing up for the second round of speaker voting, but the path forward is uncertain. Lawmakers in the Lower House of Parliament are set to debate and then vote on a potential new Speaker of the House on Wednesday. The candidates are two independent candidates: Women’s Affairs Minister Khalida Toukan and Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi.
The first round of voting on Sunday confirmed that Toukan had the most support, but failed to secure the necessary two-thirds majority of votes needed for an outright victory. It is unclear how the second round of voting will play out, as both independent candidates continue to appeal for support from political parties, both within their own coalition and outside.
Despite the uncertainty, Speaker elections are an important marker of the stability of Jordanian politics. No political party has enough seats in Parliament to gain an absolute majority in a House of Chamber votes, and thus it is essential that all parties and independents be consulted to come to an agreement. Even if a candidate is approved in the second round of voting, that does not necessarily mean that all parties are on board. This could lead to disruption within the government coalition, as some parties would inevitably back out of certain deals in exchange for their vote. Ultimately, it will be up to the negotiations between representatives from all political blocs to secure a win for either Toukan or Safadi.