So what’s going on halfway between North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula…?

15 Mar

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today, and for a moment I was impressed with what seemed like a step towards political reforms in Jordan. But then I realized this article was published five years ago, and I mean precisely five years ago. What irony, and thanks to my friend for pointing this out! What King Abdullah DID however announce this month was a “3 month deadline for political reform“.

Did he rummage in his 2005 interviews as well?

To go with the flow of this year’s Arab Spring, King Abdullah has so far appointed a new Prime Minister and eased demonstration restrictions back in February. Demonstrations did not cease however, instead the outrage in Amman now revolves around constitutional monarchy claims. Voicing public opinion also includes criticism of Jordan’s relations towards Israel (illustrated by a young Jordanian boy’s death which became more and more of a political issue). Now this Saturday, Jordanian state clerics did not exactly ban protests, but rather suggested in a Fatwa that Jordanians refrain from taking to the streets for demonstrations. Meanwhile the Hashemite-friendly Jordan Times still puts the word “reform” in quotation marks and warns about Islamists taking advantage of the public outrage.

It will be interesting to see how things will pan out in Jordan. I’m pretty sure King Abdullah can not smack down demonstrators, because he is neither a Saudi oil monarch nor a Libyan nutcase. This year’s events seem to remind him to fear his people as any leader should, otherwise he would not announce away. Let’s hope he doesn’t just announce.

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