2011-01-28 In Jordan Thousands Demand New Government

Thousands of people took to the streets today in Jordan demanding that Samir Rifa, the Prime Minister step down. They also demanded the government curb food prices, inflation and unemployment.

For the third consecutive Friday over three thousand activists from the trade unions, the main Islamist opposition group and leftists rallied in the capital.

Al Jazeera reported they were

waving colourful banners reading: "Send the corrupt guys to court".

The crowd denounced Samir Rifai's, the prime minister, and his unpopular policies.

Many shouted: "Rifai go away, prices are on fire and so are the Jordanians.''

Another 2,500 people also took to the streets in six other cities across the country after the noon prayers. Those protests also called for Rifai's ouster.

Members of the Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jordan's largest opposition party, swelled the ranks of the demonstrators, massing outside the al-Husseini mosque in Amman and filling the downtown streets with their prayer lines.

The government has already made some concessions to the people as a result of these protests. In the past two weeks Rifai has promised a $550 million package of new subsides for food and fuel. It also includes a pay raise for civil servants and security personnel.

King Adgullah has also promised some reforms, particularly on the controversial election law but he is unlikely to give up his right to choose the prime minister and the cabinet. It would appear that the time when that would be acceptable to people in the Jordan has passed so we can expect this struggle to continue.

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