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‘Virtual parliament’ to replace lawmaking institution one day — MP


By Maram Kayed, The Jordan Times


AMMAN — “There will be a time when social media replaces parliaments,” MP Khaled Ramadan recently said.
The leftist lawmaker’s remarks came during a conference on Wednesday to launch a Rased report on MPs’ social media performance their interaction with citizens.
“People will vote on laws and voice their concerns through these platforms,” Ramadan said, adding, “social media will replace us”.
In its report, Rased, the Civil Coalition for Monitoring Elections and the Performance of Elected Councils said that MPs in total have around 3 million followers on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. 
According to the report, a copy of which was made available to The Jordan Times, around 4, 000 posts by MPs on social media were for social interaction with their followers while the number of their Parliament-related posts reached around 2,700.
“Sometimes I ask people for their opinions and recommendations on certain topics, but they end up leaving comments that are completely unrelated to the topic being discussed, including requests for jobs and loans,” MP Ibrahim Bani Hani said.
“People do not take us seriously, despite our attempts,” he added.
The report said that 82 per cent of followers’ social media interactions were with 10 out of 115 MPs who have Facebook accounts from the 130-strong Lower House.  
Islamist MP Mohammad Qudah was the most followed on Facebook with more than 1 million followers, deputies Mutaz Abu Rumman, Mohammad Riyadi, Khalil Attiyeh, Maram Hisa and Yahya Saud accounted for the next most followed members. 
MP Hazem Majali was the most active lawmaker on Facebook with 625 posts in 2017, according to the report.
Qudah, a popular radio presenter at Yaqeen FM, was also the most followed MP on Twitter, followed by his colleagues Tareq Khouri, former president of the Wihdat club, and Dima Tahboub, a Muslim Brotherhood member.
Only the 13-member Islamist Reform bloc has a Facebook account, the report said. 

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