October 4, 2012 - 22:22 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Jordan's king has dissolved parliament, paving the way for early elections, BBC News reported citing the state's official news agency.
The royal decree follows Abdullah II's pledge to bring in political reforms aimed at avoiding anti-government unrest in the wake of the Arab Spring.
Jordanians have been pressing for a greater say in how their country is run and demanding corruption be tackled.
Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood said in July its political party, the Islamic Action Front, would boycott the polls.
The group has called for the monarch's powers to be curtailed, and for an overhaul of the parliamentary system in which the prime minister is appointed by the king rather than elected. It has said it would boycott polls until such measures were introduced.
King Abdullah said recently a new parliament would elect a prime minister early next year. Ahead of Thursday's announcement from the royal palace, the Muslim Brotherhood said the "Friday to Rescue the Nation" rally to demand reforms would go ahead in central Amman on Friday.
"We are talking about a new phase after 20 months of continued popular protests and unwillingness to listen to our demands for reform," Zaki Bani Rusheid, the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood, told Reuters of the rally.
"We are calling for real reforms that restore power to Jordanian people and curb the powers of those who have seized power and influence for decades."
So far, protests in Jordan have been more peaceful than elsewhere in the region.
But counter-demonstrations planned by pro-government groups for Friday have prompted concerns of violent confrontations.
The royal decree gave no date for the elections, but King Abdullah had previously said he wanted fresh elections by the end of 2012.
Jordan's constitution stipulates that the cabinet must resign within a week of the parliament's dissolution.