Jordanians protest for constitution reform

AMMAN (AFP) — – More than 1,000 Jordanians demonstrated in central Amman on Friday to demand “satisfactory” constitutional reforms as parliament debates amendments proposed last month.

“We want to restore our constitutional rights. We demand satisfactory change,” read a banner carried by Islamist and leftist demonstrators who marched after midday prayers from Al-Husseini Mosque to the nearby city hall.

Waving national flags and calling for elected governments and “genuine reforms,” the protesters chanted: “We want a reformed constitution and we want it to see the light.”

“We will keep pushing for comprehensive reforms. We insist that the people should elect their own governments,” Hammam Said, the top leader of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, told the demonstrators.

Local news websites reported smaller demonstrations in other parts of Jordan.

MP’s are currently debating constitutional amendments proposed by a palace-appointed committee and announced by King Abdullah II in mid-August.

The recommendations include the creation of an independent commission to oversee elections, lowering the age of candidates for parliament from 35 to 25 and limiting the jurisdiction of the military state security court, accused by activists of being illegal, to cases of high treason, espionage and terrorism.

But the powerful opposition Islamists say the proposals, which did not meet one of their key demands for an elected prime minister, are not enough.

Inspired by popular revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, Jordanians have been protesting since January to demand sweeping economic and political reform, including a new electoral law and an elected prime minister.

( / 09.09.2011)

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