Jordan's parliament took legal measures on Monday to disqualify the Muslim Brotherhood's political party, the country's largest opposition movement.
In a Lower House session, 46 out of 83 Jordanian lawmakers voted to add an item in the country's draft political parties law forbidding the establishment of any political party on a "religious basis."
The measure would disqualify the Islamic Action Front - the political branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and the country's largest political party - from taking part in upcoming parliamentary elections.
Islamists claim the amendment comes as "retaliation" for the Muslim Brotherhood's opposition to a proposed elections law observers say ensures the continued dominance of tribal regime loyalists over the legislative chamber.
"This is only the latest in a series of measures by deputies to limit the influence of political parties and any dissenting views in parliament and political life in general," Zaki Bani Rsheid, head of the IAF's politibureau, told DPA.
"We believe all Jordanian citizens - not only Islamists - should have the right to form a political party without conditions," he added.
Bani Rsheid vowed that Islamists would fight the legislation, which lawmakers are expected to approve on Tuesday, "with all legal and political means available."
The country's political parties law, which along with the elections law has been highlighted by Jordan's King Abdullah II as key to the country's reform process, also bans the establishment of parties on an "ethnic or sectarian basis."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now