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Monday, February 07, 2011

Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, tribes threaten kingdom

From AFP:

Less than a week after his appointment, Jordan's new premier is facing potential upheaval, with the Islamist opposition refusing to join his government and key tribes warning of a popular revolt.


Prime Minister Maaruf Bakhit is trying to form a cabinet tasked with pushing through reforms to counter popular discontent inspired by Tunisia's revolt and ongoing anti-regime protests in Egypt.

Bakhit has met MPs, senators, trade unions as well as the powerful Islamist movement, which said on Sunday it has rejected an offer to join the new government after questioning the prime minister's reformist credentials.

At the same time, 36 members of major tribes, which form the backbone of the regime in Jordan, condemned the country's "crisis of authority" and corruption, warning of a popular revolt.

"We did not discuss the details of the offer, but all what I can say is that taking part in this government under the current circumstances is out of the question," Hamzah Mansur, leader of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, told AFP.

"We are not asking for miracles. Our demands are realistic, practical and do-able. We demand early general polls in line with a new electoral law."

The tribal leaders joined the Islamists in their demands.
And from CNN:
In unprecedented criticism of Jordan's royal family, three dozen prominent Jordanian tribal figures issued an urgent call for reform Sunday and warned that the country may follow Tunisia and Egypt into turmoil without it.

The statement from 36 members of the country's major tribes attacked what they called the interference of Queen Rania in running the country. The queen, "her sycophants and the power centers that surround her" are dividing Jordanians and "stealing from the country and the people," the letter states.

The tribal figures said they were sending a clear message to King Abdullah II. They warned that if corruption was not prosecuted and reform was not implemented, "similar events to those in Tunisia and Egypt and other Arab countries will occur." The internet and satellite television had overcome the ability of regimes to stifle the thirst for information, the statement said.

There has been no response from the royal palace to the statement, which was posted on a popular Jordanian website. But the website, ammonnews.net, later complained that it had been the target of "intentional hacking" and that the statement had been removed.
The fun never stops!