Jordanian Prime Minister resigned after anti-austerity protests

Vastavam web: Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulki resigned today after he was summoned by King Abdullah II over growing protests against his government’s austerity measures, a government source said. “Prime Minister Hani Mulki submitted his resignation to the king this afternoon during a meeting at the Husseiniyeh Palace and the king accepted the resignation,” the source told AFP.

The king asked Education Minister Omar al-Razzaz to form a new government, the source added. Protesters had called on Mulki to step down, vowing not to “kneel” and earning support from trade unions as well as a majority of MPs opposed to the new taxation. The premier’s meeting with the king came hours after around 5,000 people rallied outside Mulki’s office in Amman, on the fifth consecutive day of protests in Amman and other cities.

Jordan, a mostly desert kingdom with few resources, has seen prices of several basic goods and services like bread, fuel and electricity steadily rise over the past year. And last week it announced a new price hike for electricity and fuel, before revoking it under orders from the king following protests. They were the latest measures in a series of economic reforms since Amman secured a 723-million three-year credit line from the IMF in 2016. The loan, intended to support economic and financial reforms, has the long-term objective of reducing Jordan’s public debt from about 94 percent of GDP to 77 percent by 2021.