Over 10,000 people have descended upon the streets of Amman today to protest the current regime, prompting speculation that Jordan’s peaceful attempts at democratic reforms since the Arab spring might not be enough to stop a full-on revolution.
The video below appears to show raw footage of the protests.
The demonstration, organised by the opposition Muslim Brotherhood party, was the largest in years, according to The Telegraph.
“We demand constitutional reform before the people revolt. The people want to reform the regime,” protestors chanted, according to the AFP.
King Abdullah II dissolved Parliament on the eve before the demonstration in order to castigate the current legislature for its ineptitude and hold elections sooner than the previous electoral calendar would have called for. The royal palace has not yet given an official timetable as to when the next elections will occur, but Abdullah II has said he wants polls to be held by the end of the year, according to BBC.
The Brotherhood boycotted the 2010 elections and plans to boycott the next round in order to protest electoral reforms, or lack thereof. They claim that electoral districts have been drawn in a discriminatory manner, and lament that Jordan’s premier is named by the king — not elected. However, Abdullah has said that the new parliament will elect the next prime minister, the AP reports.
But some worry that the boycott and the worsening economic situation might force a low voter turnout, delegitimizing the next round of elections and empowering the Muslim Brotherhood — creating conditions “ripe for instability in the coming months.”
The king said in an interview last month that the Muslim Brotherhood is making a ” tremendous miscalculation” in boycotting elections. “This elections law is not perfect. We all understand that. But there is no better consensus on an alternative. What is critical is that we keep going forward,” he added.
“So I am telling the Muslim Brotherhood, you have a choice. To stay in the street or to help build the new democratic Jordan.”
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