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ہفتہ، 12 فروری، 2011

Jordan Next?Jordanian Protesters Accuse Queen of Corruption

The head of 36 tribes in Jordan have publicly accused Queen Rania of corruption and have called on King Abdullah 11 to remove her completely from the country`s politics.

 In an unprecedented move which breaks a taboo in the region, the tribal leaders said that Queen Rania was creating her own centers of authority in Jordan and pursuing interests that contradict the demands of the people, reported on Friday.

In a joint statement, the tribal leaders said, “We call on the king to return the land and farms given to the Yassin family (of the queen) to the treasury. The land belongs to the Jordanian people.”

Tribes make up about 40 percent of Jordan's population.

Experts say political discontent has been growing in the desert nation. According to the laws of the country, people who publicly criticize the king, queen, or any member of the Jordanian royal family can be sentenced to three years in prison.

The tribal leaders also called for new election laws and more transparency in parliamentary elections.

A member of a large tribe said Jordanian authorities had "pressured some tribes for several days and told them to be careful in what they say to the international press."

It seems the anti-government protests in Tunisia and Egypt have inspired Jordanians, who recently began putting pressure on King Abdullah.

He is being called on to ensure that major economic and political reforms are made promptly.

On Tuesday, after three weeks of anti-government protests, King Abdullah sacked the prime minister, Samir Rifai, and appointed Marouf Bakhit in his place, instructing him to "take practical, quick, and tangible steps to launch true political reforms."

But the opposition says Bakhit is not a reformist.

"We want seriousness on the ground. We want a genuine reform. We want initiatives now so that people feel they are partners in decision making," Islamic Action Front Secretary General Hamzeh Mansour said.

"Arabs used to fear their authoritarian regimes. Things have changed and now Arab leaders fear their peoples," a political analyst said recently.

As Hosni Mubarak finally stepped down as ruler of Egypt, hundreds of Jordanians gathered outside the Egyptian embassy in Amman on Friday to voice their support for the people of Egypt.

The demonstration was organized by the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Last week, Jordan’s King Abdullah responded to three weeks of anti-government demonstrations by firing his prime minister and appointing a new premier.But the IAF has refused to join the new government, saying it is “just like its predecessors,” according to Press TV.

Jordanian demonstrators had been careful not to directly attack the Jordanian royal family, since any criticism could results in a three-year prison sentence, The Washington Post reported.

But 36 tribes in the nation have reportedly issued a statement accusing Queen Rania, Abdullah’s wife, of “corruption.”

“We call on the king to return to the treasury land and farms given to the Yassin family (of the queen),” the tribal leaders said, according to Agence France-Presse reports.

The royal court responded on Friday with a statement condemning “in the strongest possible terms, the completely erroneous and defamatory statements about her majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan.”

The 36 people who signed the statement, according to the royal court, “are not leaders of the tribes to which they belong, and they do not represent the tens of thousands of people from these proud Jordanian tribes.
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