Jordan holds largest pro-democracy rally
Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:39PM
Several thousands of Jordanians have taken to the streets of the capital city, Amman, calling for immediate political and economic reforms.
The protest rally organized by the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, and 19 other political parties is believed to be the largest pro-democracy demonstration in Jordan since January.
The protest rally began following the Friday Prayers. Around 3,000 security personnel were deployed across central Amman on Friday, which was dubbed the "Day of Anger".
Jordanian officials say police officers were deployed to protect the rally and to prevent clashes between pro-democracy protesters and pro-government activists.
Protesters, estimated to be over 10,000 in number according to IAF, have called for an elected government, constitutional reforms and the dissolution of the parliament. At present, King Abdullah appoints and dismisses the prime minister.
"We are demonstrating today against the official bullying and to demand reforms. We seek regime reforms. We want a true parliamentary monarchy. The monarchy should not dominate parliament," leading trade unionist Maisara Malas told AFP.
"Reforms have become a necessity that cannot be delayed. We want immediate constitutional change to help create productive governments and a truly representative parliament. These are the demands of all Jordanians,” Hamzah Mansur, chief of IAF told the crowds.
"Aim of this protest is to have constitutional changes to bring elected government and elected parliament that forms government as well as constitutional court. We also want the departure of this government and parliament to lead to constitutional monarchy," said senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Salem Falahat.
Meanwhile, the supporters of the royal family have also gathered in the heart of the capital to protest against opposition demonstrators.
In early February, after week of pro-democracy protests across Jordan, King Abdullah sacked Prime Minister Samir Rifai over the slow pace of reforms and appointed Marouf al-Bakhit as Jordan's new premier.
Bakhit has promised to follow instructions given by the king and carry out "real economic and political reforms," including amending the election law.
But the opposition in Jordan says Bakhit is not a reformist.
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