BBC | Jordan’s king under pressure as reforms stall
Pressure is mounting on King Abdullah of Jordan, a key US ally, to respond to similar popular demands that have turned the Middle East upside down over the past year-and-a-half.
Promised political and economic reforms appear to be stalling. Last week, King Abdullah appointed his fourth prime minister since the Arab Spring started here 17 months ago.
Protests erupted in the impoverished countryside south of the capital, Amman, last year before the uprisings which overthrew the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt.
While demonstrations have been generally smaller and more peaceful than elsewhere in the region, Jordanians have been pressing for greater political say - specifically the popular election of prime ministers - and demanding government corruption and unemployment be tackled.
The official unemployment rate stands at 11.4%, while unofficial estimates put it at 22%.
The rhetoric has also developed in restive areas, like Tafileh in the south, from calls for reform to calls for regime change.
Although the country has so far managed to weather the political turbulence of the Arab Spring that has seen other countries’ presidents ousted, time is now a premium for the king, who has shown a penchant for deflecting criticism about policies by firing prime ministers.
FULL ARTICLE (BBC)