Jordan- Protesters demand 'real' reform, slam Parliament

(MENAFN- Jordan Times)  Political parties and independent activists staged rallies across the Kingdom on Friday calling for "genuine" political reforms and efforts to combat corruption. In Amman, Islamists organised three separate events, the centrepiece of which was held in the courtyard of the University of Jordan Mosque following the noon prayer. During the event, Muslim Brotherhood leaders delivered speeches demanding "real political reforms" and calling members of the Lower House "illegitimate" for their "disappointing role" in the reform process. Despite Islamist activists' attempts to draw a large crowd, only a few dozen worshipers stayed after the prayers to listen to the speeches. According to a source within the movement, the other two rallies held in the capital drew much less participation than past weeks' events. During a march organised by the Muslim Brotherhood from Al Husseini Mosque downtown to Nakheel Square near City Hall, Deputy Yihya Saud reportedly attacked a group of press photographers who were covering the protest, prompting one journalist to file a complaint with the police. The Centre for Defending the Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ) issued a statement yesterday condemning Saud's actions, alleging that he destroyed some of their equipment, including cameras. During Friday's events, the Islamists called on Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh to exercise his full authority to combat the efforts of "anti-reform elements". They also called on His Majesty King Abdullah to push for real reforms in the Kingdom before "time runs out". Meanwhile, the Jordanian Unified Front Party organised another march from King Abdullah Mosque towards Parliament, during which protesters called for better measures to fight corruption, according to organisers. In other regions of the Kingdom, the local popular youth movements organised rallies calling for the dissolution of Parliament, particularly after the recent controversy over MPs' efforts to amend laws to grant themselves lifetime pensions and permanent diplomatic passports, according to local news reports. In the north, hundreds of citizens participated in rallies in Irbid, Jerash and Zarqa, while hundreds more took part in protests in Tafileh, Karak and Madaba in the south.

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