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Report: Jordan

Jordanian protesters demand reform after prime minister resigns

Ruth Michaelson

A day after Jordan’s Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh resigned, 1,000 people gathered in the capital Friday to protest against government corruption and refusal of introduce reform.

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Left-wingers and Salafist Islamists marched together, chanting demands for increased democracy and constitutional reform, some chanting against King Abdullah II and the government's often pro-Western stance.

One banner read, “Jordanians should define and enforce legitimacy, not Europeans.”

A heavy police presence divided the protesters from a group of 100 pro-regime activists, to prevent fights from breaking out between the factions, as happened frequently during protests last year.

People are angry that the regime has not reacted to those protests:

 “They are not serious about the improvements and they are ignoring the demands of the Jordanian street,” said activist Ruba Albream.

Despite limited support for moving to a republican system, Jordanians are impatient to see change, she claimed.

Prime Minsiter Awn Khasawneh was appointed following a series of protests in the spring of 2011. His appointment was meant to increase confidence in the government.

However, he tendered his resignation while in Turkey Thursday, citing his unhappiness at the decision to extend the current parliamentary session until June.

His replacement, Fayez al-Tarawneh, is Jordan’s fourth prime minister to be appointed in 14th months.

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