Large anti-government protests are developing in Jordan.
The protests started last week over IMF-backed price increases and a new tax reform law and already tirggered resignation of the country’s prime minster, Hani al-Mulki. However, this was not enough to de-escalate the situation.
The protests were organised by the political group known as Hirak Shababi [youth movement] and 33 of professional associations and civil society groups, including Engineers Association and Jordanian Teachers Syndicate. Engineers Association and Jordanian Teachers Syndicate only have an estimated combined membership of 300,000.
Unions representing employees in the public and private sectors also called for a general strike on June 6.
Al-Mulki resigned on June 5. Following his resignation, the protesters vowed to continue their demonstrations expanding their demands to include a complete overhaul of the government’s system and approach.
The demonstrators accused the government of covering up its failed economic approach (resulted in a need of the new tax law) and corruption.
Some protesters are also demanding the dissolution of parliament and a reform of the political system.
The protests were caused by the worsening economic situation in Jordan. It should be noted that one of the reasons contributing to the current economic situation in the country is a high number of refugees from Syria. About 1.4m Syrians had fled the war to Jordan. Only about 20-30% of them are living in the refugee camps. The majority of the refugees is spread throughout the state.