Protests over economic policies in Jordan
Hundreds of Jordanians demonstrated across the country on Friday to call for widespread economic and political reforms, and to protest against the reappointment of Abdullah Ensour as prime minister.
In a series of rallies in six of the country’s 12 governorates, Islamist and leftist activists accused the prime minister-designate of “failed economic policies”.
During demonstrations in Irbid, Karak, Tafileh and Maan, hundreds of citizens called for Ensour’s resignation, chanting, “We demand freedom from corruption” and “The people demand the downfall of Ensour,” according to eyewitnesses.
Ensour was last week tasked with forming a new government following the Royal Court’s consultations with Lower House members. The premier-designate is currently engaged in consultations with deputies over the set-up of the government.
Meanwhile, the capital witnessed two separate protests on Friday — an Islamist-led rally in downtown Amman that drew some 1,000 participants, and a 200-strong leftist rally in the East Amman neighbourhood of Ashrafiyeh.
During the rallies, participants accused the premier of pursuing a series of policies seeking to raise prices, namely lifting fuel subsidies in November and a 4 per cent fuel price hike late last month.
Protesters also called for the dissolution of Parliament, claiming that the January 23 parliamentary polls were rife with “irregularities”.
Also during the downtown rally, participants called for an open-ended sit-in on March 21 along the airport road outside the capital to mark the second-year anniversary of the ill-fated March 24 rally — a pro-reform protest that ended in clashes between security personnel and activists, leaving dozens injured.
Friday marked the third straight week of anti-government demos since authorities raised fuel prices, a move officials said was in line with a similar increase on international markets.