Jordan protest calls for political reform

Jordanian Islamic Action Front supporters shouts anti-Government slogans, in Amman, on 18 November 2011, as hundreds of Jordanian protesters mached following Friday noon prayer. (Photo: AFP - Khalil Mazraawi)

Published Friday, November 18, 2011

More than 1,000 Jordanians protested in the capital Amman on Friday, after calls by opposition Islamists and leftists to push for political reform and an end to corruption.

The pro-democracy march began after Friday prayers outside the al-Husseini mosque in the center of the city, moving towards city hall.

Banners held up by Islamists, leftists, and youth groups said "the people want to reform the regime," "the people want an elected government," and "we want a fair electoral system."

In a statement distributed before the march, organizers from the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Islamic Action Front, said the movement still awaited reforms that "would bring power back to the people."

"We ask for a serious fight against corruption, the corrupt to be tried, and a boosting of regulatory institutions," it said.

Jordan has seen growing domestic unrest since the Arab Spring swept the region earlier in the year.

The Hashemite kingdom is ruled by key US ally King Abdullah II, who retains extensive autocratic powers limiting the political freedom of its parliament, and stifling democracy.

Abdullah this week became the first Arab head of state to call for Syrian President Bashar Assad to resign.

"I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down," the king said in a BBC interview on Monday.

Jordan is one of two Arab states that has signed a peace treaty with Israel.

(al-Akhbar, AFP)

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