The protests, (at least at the onset) were predominantly focused on economics. Three groups that are prominent in the opposition are trade unions, islamist organizations and left-orientated activists.
Jordanians blame the government for their eroding living conditions in a country where official figures show 13.3 per cent of its citizens live below the poverty line of 680 dinars a month, while unemployment stands at 12.9 per cent.
Inflation increased sharply to 6.1% in the last month, further destabilizing the political situation.
According to Financial Times ”Samir Rifai, (…) became the prime political target of demonstrators throughout the country in recent weeks. He was widely associated with unpopular economic reforms, such as phasing out subsidies for fuel and key food staples and privatising state-owned businesses.”
According to Reuters Africa: “Protesters(…) staged rallies calling for the reversal of free-market reforms which many blame for a widening gap between rich and poor.
Protesters say the sale of state assets to foreign investors over the past decade has enriched the country’s business and political elite but has done little to help the poor.
The situation in Jordan has been volatile for weeks, and forced King Abdullah II to reach out in a very public way to opposition forces in the Kingdom.
On Monday, Agence France Press reported that the Islamist opposition – Islamic Action Front stated that they opened dialog with the King, and that they are seeking the constitutional changes that would strenghten the power of the parlament at the expense of the powers currently in the hands of monarchy.
In a move clearly designed to reduce the pressure on ruling classes in Jordan, King Abdullah II dismissed the current Government.
According to Bloomberg: Jordan’s King Abdullah replaced his prime minister following street protests and asked former premier Marouf Bakhit to form a new government that will launch a “genuine political reform process.”