After weeks of protests, Jordan’s King Abdullah II dismisses government

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.”

 

About Eva Smagacz

White Knight from Britain.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 2 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. MHughes976 says:

    Bakhit looks rather like the Jordanian Suleiman – both seem to be associated with militarism and repression.

  2. Jim Haygood says:

    From a revealing 2009 article about US aid to Jordan:

    ————

    In the latest in a recent series of increased American assistance efforts for Arab and Muslim states, U.S. President Barack Obama has allocated an additional $150 million to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The regimes leading Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates and even Saudi Arabia have all benefited from recent American policy shifts.

    Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Suhair Al-Ali, was quoted by The Jordan Times as explaining that the kingdom receives $363 million annually from the United States in economic assistance. The allocations signed into law by Obama this week mean that Jordan will receive a total of $513 million from the U.S. in 2009.

    The minister told the Jordanian newspaper that the additional American aid was the result of ongoing efforts by Jordan’s King Abdullah II, as well as Obama’s “recognition of the important role Jordan plays in the region.”

    link to israelnationalnews.com

    ————

    What ‘ongoing efforts’ by Abdullah are we speaking of — the effort to stay in unchallenged power?

    After thirty lost years on autopilot, looks like the entire US foreign aid budget is about to get a ground-up review.