Jordan PM resigns after anti-austerity protests

Demonstrators try to urge drivers to stop their cars on the street during a protest in front of the Prime Minister's office in the capital Amman

Demonstrators try to urge drivers to stop their cars on the street during a protest in front of the Prime Minister's office in the capital Amman

Jordan's Prime Minister Hani Mulki submitted his resignation to King Abdullah on Monday, an official source said, to soothe widespread anger over economic policies that have sparked the largest protests in several years and dozens of arrests.

Jordan's king is expected to push for the prime minister to step down on Monday (June 4). Razzaz is a former World Bank economist and was education minister in the outgoing government.

The move appeared aimed at defusing popular anger over planned tax hikes that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in the capital Amman and other parts of Jordan since last week.

Mr Mulki had refused to scrap the IMF-backed tax bill, saying it was up to parliament to decide whether to pass it or not.

Jordan, a key USA ally, has largely avoided the unrest witnessed by other countries in the region since the Arab Spring revolts broke out in 2011, although protests did flare late that year after the government cut fuel subsidies. The new legislation would apply an income tax on those who earn 8000 Jordanian Dinars and more annually (201681.02 EGP), causing a backlash from the Jordanian lower middle class, and the Jordanian trade unions which then escalated to a nation-wide strike that took place on Wednesday (May 30).

The dismissal of Mulki is one of the demands raised during the recent wave of protests against IMF-dictated tax increases and price hikes that have hit the kingdom.

Police chief Major General Fadel al-Hamoud said security forces had detained 60 people for breaking the law during the protests and 42 security force members had been injured, but protests remained under control.


According to witnesses, the protesters, who converged near the Cabinet office on Sunday, said they would disband only if the government revoked the bill it sent to the parliament last month.

"They must be able to express themselves and voice their opinions and our duty is to protect them", the crown prince told security forces in reference to the protesters. Many Jordanian parliamentarians announced they'll be voting against the income tax law.

Overnight, protesters outside Mulki's office shouted slogans including "the ones raising prices want to burn the country" and "this Jordan is our Jordan, Mulki should leave".

Since January, Jordan - which suffers high unemployment and has few natural resources - has seen repeated price rises including on staples such as bread, as well as extra taxes on basic goods.

The Government took these measures since the capital has already secured a $723m three-year credit line from the International Monetary Fund in 2016.

King Abdullah II called on parliament to lead a "comprehensive and reasonable national dialogue" on the new tax law.

With Syria's devastating seven-year since 2011, as many as one million refugees have arrived in Jordan to survive, worsening the state of Jordan's struggling economy.

Recommended News

  • 5Stars and League strike new Italian coalition deal

    5Stars and League strike new Italian coalition deal

    The Prime Ministers said they were looking forward to meeting at the G7 later that week in Canada. But at the last minute, the alliance came back together and, appeasing Mr.
    Trump Aide: Canada Trade Row a

    Trump Aide: Canada Trade Row a "family Quarrel", Trudeau Overreacting

    That's why I think that the president is right. "But we see no sign of that in this action today by the USA administration". With all of this happening, an intense rush of NAFTA talks failed to generate a new agreement.
    Agent insists: Liverpool must agree Fekir fee with Lyon first

    Agent insists: Liverpool must agree Fekir fee with Lyon first

    Grobbelaar, who played for Liverpool between 1981 and 1994, added: "They should keep him in the spotlight from next season". Do you think Fekir would be a good signing for Liverpool? Let us know in the comments section.
  • 'Vani Rani' actress Sangeetha arrested for running prostitution ring

    'Vani Rani' actress Sangeetha arrested for running prostitution ring

    Several women from different states were rescued from a resort in Chennai and sent to a rehabilitation centre, police said. Tamil TV actress Sangeetha Balan has been arrested for allegedly running a prostitution racket at a resort in Chennai .
    Trump throws ailing US  coal, nuke plants a lifeline, triggers backlash

    Trump throws ailing US coal, nuke plants a lifeline, triggers backlash

    The memo added that "federal action is necessary to stop the further premature retirements of fuel-secure generation capacity". It relies on authorities given to the executive branch in the Defense Production Act of 1950 and the Federal Power Act.
    Death toll climbs from volcano's explosions of ash, molten rock in Guatemala

    Death toll climbs from volcano's explosions of ash, molten rock in Guatemala

    Seven people have been killed and almost 300 injured after Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted, officials say. Flows of lava have reportedly struck at least one village, causing deaths and injuries.
  • Facebook shared user data with Apple and Samsung

    Facebook shared user data with Apple and Samsung

    A look at the lawsuit filed against Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg and why he's being accused of weaponizing data. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook's app clean-up may end up being more hard than we think.
    Belgium's Vincent Kompany injury doubt for World Cup after hurting groin

    Belgium's Vincent Kompany injury doubt for World Cup after hurting groin

    Coach Roberto Martinez , who is set to name his final 23-man World Cup squad on Monday, said Kompany felt discomfort in his groin. They open their World Cup campaign on June 18 against Panama, before also facing England and Tunisia in Group G.

    Guatemala volcano eruption leaves at least 25 dead

    Another 20 people have been injured, and more than 2,000 evacuated near the volcano and several cities, including Antigua. David de León, spokesman for the disaster agency, said about 300 people had evacuated the area around the volcano.
  • North Korea 'military reshuffle' raises eyebrows in Seoul

    North Korea 'military reshuffle' raises eyebrows in Seoul

    North Korean delegates led by Kim Chang-son, Kim Jong-un's de facto chief of staff, have also stayed at the Fullerton. Yet, as The Guardian noted, the USA has said nothing about North Korea's chemical and biological weapons programs.
    Kim sends letter to US President - and it's huge

    Kim sends letter to US President - and it's huge

    In addition, Kim has made two trips to China in recent months and met Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Bruce Bennett of the RAND Corp. said the White House is clearly setting a low bar for success from the summit.
    China has legitimate right to deploy military facilities in S

    China has legitimate right to deploy military facilities in S

    Beijing sent a relatively low-level delegation to this year's Shangri-La forum, which was dominated by the USA and its allies . The United States has once again accused China of militarizing the South China Sea to intimidate and coerce neighbors.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.