News / Middle East

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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by: Dr. Hastings from: UK
October 05, 2012 4:30 PM
imagine the fear the Israelis must be experiencing... Egypt has turned Islamic hostility into a galvanizing rally against Israel; Syria's Assad who had kept a calm border is no longer in a position to control anything anymore... and now Jordan... the jewel in the crown of western influence after Egypt, is in a convulsive death spiral... their so called king - which is a poor excuse of a silly dithering fool of a tyrant, now succumb to the demands of Palestinian militants with pernicious intent towards Israel... Arab Israelis are increasingly radicalized by the concerted efforts of Muslim from across the region and serve as a "fifth column" inside Israel... constantly terrorizing Israeli citizens...

by: Khagaraj Sommu from: Hyderabad India
October 05, 2012 2:24 PM
The Jordanian king could go the way of Hosni Mubarak.For America this will be another unintended consequence of the so-called Arab Spring.American liberals,be very,very careful these days what you wish for.You are being hoisted by your own petard.

by: Max Joseph from: Brooklyn
October 05, 2012 12:44 PM
Jordan or the Hachemite Kingdom should be the Palestinian state that so many have died for. Handing over that land to the Palestinian will help the peace process in the region.

by: Samir from: Jordan
October 05, 2012 12:03 PM
VOA let the world know that here the "king" is finished... we do not want his corrupt influence and sanctimonious groveling... stealing the wealth and prosperity of our country torturing and raping our citizens for generations on behalf of the UK... he is a weak excuse and an embarrassment to Islam.

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