Thousands of Jordanians have taken to the streets across the country in protest against a hike in fuel prices for the second time in three months. Chanting anti-government slogans, the protesters from the capital, Amman, to the southern city of Maan rallied late Saturday, demanding the immediate resignation of the country’s Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh. "The royal palace is standing between the people and their rights," the protesters chanted. The Jordanian government said the fuel price rise was necessary, arguing that the costly fuel subsidies have caused a rampant budget deficit.
Jordanians, however, blame the royal palace and corruption as the real reasons behind Jordan’s economic crisis.The Saturday evening demonstrations, organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, were the largest to hit the country in months. Jordanians have been holding street protests since January 2011, calling for political reforms, transfer of royal power to the people and an end to corruption. Since the demonstrations began, the Jordanian King has sacked two prime ministers to appease the protesters. The king has also amended some articles of the 60-year-old constitution, ostensibly granting the parliament a more assertive role in the decision-making process. AO/MA