Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Jordanians protest against new PM

Hundreds of Jordanians protest in Amman against their new prime minister Marouf al-Bakhit (AP)

Hundreds of Jordanians have staged a protest against their new prime minister Marouf al-Bakhit, who was named earlier this week in response to anti-government marches.

More than 1,000 Islamists and opposition supporters marched in the capital Amman calling for Mr al-Bakhit to quit.

The activists protested near the prime minister's office and in central Amman, chanting: "Down with the government."

But the leader of Jordan's main Muslim opposition group said he wanted to give the new leader a chance to carry out promised political reforms.

The Islamic Action Front, the political arm of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, said it was confident about change after meeting with the king and Mr al-Bakhit, said a leader of the group, Nimer al-Assaf.

"We are very optimistic that change will happen," Mr al-Assaf said after Friday prayers at a mosque near the prime minister's office where the activists gathered.

He said the opposition would give the new government a chance and that he did not expect further protests.

As well as Amman, protests took place in three other towns in Jordan.

"We want jobs and an end to corruption, which is making government officials rich on the expense of poor people like me," said unemployed Mahmoud Abu-Seif, 29, who joined some 150 marchers in the city of Karak.

Jordan has been the scene of several large protests against rising prices in recent weeks.

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