Jordanian Protests Against Gov't

Jordan is facing violent demonstrations and political protests. Jordanian journalists warn that change is in the air.

Chana Ya'ar, | updated: 23:17

King Abdullah of Jordan
King Abdullah of Jordan
Israel news photo: Agencia Brasil

Jordan is facing violent demonstrations and political protests that have the potential to destabilize the country, reported David E. Miller of The Media Line.

On Sunday, the Jordanian parliament voted to make sure there would be no legislative challenge to the king's authority.

The parliament issued an official statement saying, “The parliament absolutely rejects the calls of some to limit the king's constitutional authorities. The king is strong in the constitution and we will see to it that he remains strong to safeguard Jordanian identity.”

A demonstration in Amman last Friday by the grassroots “March 24 Youth” activist group demanded the government dissolve the lower house of the parliament and reform the constitution, Miller reported.

But the rally ended in violence as supporters of King Abdullah II hurled rocks at the demonstrators. At least 30 were injured. Meanwhile, some 10,000 demonstrators rallied in support of the king in a parallel protest.

The violence was followed by the resignations of 21 of the 53 members of the National Dialogue Committee established by King Abdullah II to sooth tensions in the kingdom. Reformist protesters also blamed the government for allowing the king's supporters to beat them.

Three Islamist members who were appointed to the new committee refused to participate in deliberations over amendments to the Elections Law and Political Parties Law, unless constitutional amendments were on the agenda as well.

The committee did not bend to the will of the Islamists, and in general, the government has thus far ignored most demands for reforms with the exception of reshuffling the cabinet, and creating the new committee.

However, Jordanian journalists are reporting that tensions are rising in the Hashemite Kingdom.

“Concern is no longer the correct description for the situation we are going through over the past days. There is a sense that the situation may explode at any moment,” wrote Fahed Al-Khitan, political columnist in the Al-Arab Al-Yawm

Jordan, located on Israel's eastern-most border, was the second Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish State, although it is a cold peace,  and has long been a partner with Israel in numerous business, scientific and other regional projects.




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