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Thousands Gather in Jordan Calling for Reform

  • VOA News

Thousands of people have gathered in Jordan's capital to protest the slow pace of constitutional reforms in the country.

Protesters raised flags and banners and chanted anti-government slogans during the demonstration Friday in Amman.

The rally was organized by Jordan's main Islamist opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is calling for a more democratic parliament.

The protest took place a day after Jordan's royal palace said King Abdullah had dissolved parliament. That move sets the stage for early parliamentary elections without major electoral reforms.

Jordan's Parliament

-Consists of the Senate and House of Deputies
-Senate has 60 members appointed by King Abdullah
-House of Deputies has 140 members elected by voters
-Past elections held in 2003, 2007 and 2010

Jordan's government says the elections are a result of reforms it made that spared Jordan the Arab Spring uprisings that have toppled four Middle East rulers.

But critics say the electoral reforms do not go far enough to eliminate inequities that ensure parliamentary strength for supporters of King Abdullah or that curtail his absolute powers.

King Abdullah has said a new parliament will elect a prime minister early next year, in response to popular demand. The king has traditionally appointed the prime minister.

The palace did not say when the parliamentary elections will take place.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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