Dissolved assembly not enough for Jordan

Oct. 5, 2012 at 1:22 PM
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AMMAN, Jordan, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- A day after Parliament was dissolved, protesters frustrated with a slumping Jordanian economy said the country's monarch was abusing his position of power.

"We came to call for reforms and an amendment to the constitution so the people can see the light," protesters were heard by CNN as chanting. "Whoever (is) corrupted is the enemy of God."

Protesters, the broadcaster reports, were frustrated with a slumping economy and King Abdullah II's grip on Parliament. They said they want more democratic freedoms in a country were the monarchy controls many of the political decisions.

Economic concerns helped fuel protests last year in Tunisia and Egypt. The Jordanian protests Friday were organized by that country's chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic organization that gained considerable influence in Egypt after that country's revolution.

Jordan is a strong U.S. ally in the region. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that it's within the king's constitutional mandate to dissolve Parliament, "so he's obviously made his decision there."

Government spokesman Samih al-Maitah was quoted as saying the decision to dissolve Parliament wasn't "a surprise decision." New parliamentary leaders were chosen in 2011 and last year.

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