Thursday Nov 24, 201104:19 PM GMT
PM must go, Jordanian protesters say
Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:21AM
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Anti-government demonstrations against the prime minister and his government over political and economic reforms were held in Jordan on Friday.
Jordanian opposition supporters have held peaceful rallies in Amman and other cities to call for reforms and the resignation of the prime minister.

Taking their cue from Tunisia and Egypt, an estimated 3,000 Jordanians marched through the streets after Friday prayers, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai and calling for political and economic reforms.

They warned corrupt Arab leaders would face the same fate as ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

“Ben Ali is waiting for you,” the protesters shouted.

Peaceful protests were also held in the cities of Irbid, Karak, Maan, and Diban, AFP reported.

"Together let's make political and economic change," banners read. "Down with the Samir Rifai government. We want a national salvation government."

"We are protesting today to demand genuine reforms that would boost the people's participation in deciding their future," said Abdelhadi Falahat, who is the head of the trade unions' council.

The Islamists and Jordan's 14 trade unions, which have more than 200,000 members, say the government's new measures are inadequate since poverty levels are running at 25 percent in the desert kingdom.

Jordan has a population of six million, 70 percent of whom under the age of 30. Official unemployment is running at about 14 percent, but other estimates put joblessness at 30 percent.

The government says it is pumping around $500 million into the economy to improve the people's standard of living.

The Jordanian protesters also expressed solidarity with the demonstrators in Egypt.

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