Volume. 12231

Jordan king's reforms fall short: Muslim Brotherhood
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Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks to the Royal reform committee during a ceremony at Raghadan Palace in Amman, Jordan, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011. (AP photo)
Jordan's King Abdullah II has appointed a retired army major general as his new palace chief, but the country's main Islamist party says the latest reforms are not enough. 

On Tuesday, a day after a new government took office, the king replaced a former academician with a military strongman, Riyadh Abu Karaki, and instructed him to "meet people's needs." 

"Your top priority should be to stay in constant touch with all Jordanians, listen to their concerns and meet people's demands, in addition to your duty as a link between me and all state institutions," King Abdullah told Abu Karaki in a letter, the state-run Petra news agency reported, according to AFP. 

Jordan has been the scene of demonstrations since January. The protesters, inspired by revolutions that toppled authoritarian rulers in Tunisia and Egypt, have been demanding economic and political reforms, Press TV reported. 

On Monday, the U.S.-backed king swore in the new rubberstamp 30-member cabinet of Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh, who supports the status quo but announced he would push ahead with political reforms. 

But Jordan's main Islamist party said on Tuesday that the government reshuffle did not satisfy the people's "aspirations and hopes" for genuine reform. 

"The new government's composition was not up to the aspirations and hopes of the people," Ali Abu Sukkar, the head of the Islamic Action Front (IAF) Shura Council, said in a statement posted on the party's website. 

Abu Sukkar added that the government lacks the political will to make genuine reforms. 

The IAF, which is the political wing of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, has also refused to recognize the new government, saying it "resembles its predecessors." 

Jordan power structure deeply corrupt

Ralph Schoenman, a political commentator in Berkeley, the U.S., told Press TV on Wednesday that Jordan’s power structure is deeply corrupt.

“There is a tremendous amount of pauperization and loss of employment and the fall of standards of living and the food shortages that are affecting the people of Jordan as they are the people of Egypt and the people of the region; the government is entirely unable to address these questions because it is tied to a structure of power that is deeply corrupt,” Schoenman said during an interview.  

He added, “The fundamental issue in Jordan is the fact that over a large majority of the 7 million people of Jordan are Palestinian or Palestinian origin and they are entirely underrepresented in the government.” 

In addition, Schoenman stated, “The government largely represents the tribal areas which are really thinly populated and whose tribal leaders are tied to the crown and consequently there are the forms of democracy and representation without the substance that affect every aspect of life in Jordan.” 

He went on to say that the power structure is tied to a security apparatus, which remains in force in this new government that is largely cosmetic. That is the essence of the problem because the discussion of anti-corruption and reform is verbal. 

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Last Updated on 26 October 2011 16:29