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Farhan appointed interim IAF chief
[May 31, 2009]

Farhan appointed interim IAF chief

AMMAN, May 31, 2009 (Jordan Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The shura council of the Islamic Action Front (IAF) elected Ishaq Farhan as an interim secretary general of the party following a marathon meeting on Saturday.

Farhan replaced Zaki Bani Rsheid at the helm of the IAF, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood and the largest opposition group in the Kingdom.

Negotiations have been ongoing inside the leadership of the group in a bid to contain a growing crisis between what observers have dubbed as "doves and hawks".

Bani Rsheid tendered his resignation to the council earlier this month as part of a compromise agreement between the doves and hawks that resurfaced in the past few months.

Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood movement are reluctant to discuss their internal differences openly, but several senior officials from the movement admitted there has been bad blood within the group since the 2007 parliamentary elections.

Bani Rsheid was accused by candidates from the group of lobbying against fellow Islamists during the elections.

The Islamist movement earned only six out of the 110 Lower House seats, the lowest representation since parliamentary elections were reintroduced two decades ago. In the 14th Parliament, the IAF bloc had 17 members.

Bani Rsheid, who served as IAF secretary general for more than three years, has been also at odds with a number of moderate IAF leaders over the party's ties with Hamas and the group's position on relations with the government, the party sources said.

Bani Rsheid was referred to a party court earlier this year for refusing to endorse IAF candidates for the elections. The court ordered a one-year membership suspension, but the sentence was delayed until his term as IAF secretary general ends later this year, according to a source close to the IAF executive bureau.

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