Thursday, October 4, 2012

King Abdallah of Jordan dissolves parliament

Abdallah II
King Abdallah II of Jordan has dissolved parliament, paving the way for early polls ahead of protests seen as his biggest challenge since the start of the Arab Spring. Jordanians have been pressing for a greater say in how their country is run and demanding corruption be tackled. Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood said in July its political party, the Islamic Action Front, would boycott the polls. The group has called for the monarch's powers to be curtailed, and for an overhaul of the parliamentary system in which the prime minister is appointed by the king rather than elected. It has said it would boycott polls until such measures were introduced.
King Abdallah said recently a new parliament would elect a prime minister early next year.
Ahead of Thursday's royal decree, the Muslim Brotherhood said its "Friday to Rescue the Nation" rally to demand reforms would go ahead in central Amman. "We are talking about a new phase after 20 months of continued popular protests and unwillingness to listen to our demands for reform," Zaki Bani Rusheid, the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood, told Reuters of the rally.
Jordanians have been participating in demonstrations demanding reform since the beginning of last year. However, the movement never reached levels like in Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen.
Update: Tens of thousands demonstrated on Friday 5 October i Amman for reform. The demostations ws organized by the Muslim Brotherhood. (Photo AFP).

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