Protests in Amman, Jordan continue against IMF imposed taxes

By Middle East Affairs

Even the resignation of Jordan’s prime minister who had supported the IMF mandated tax increases won’t stop Jordanians from protesting to the streets.

Overnight and into Tuesday, saw thousands of Jordanians marching toward the office of the now resigned Prime Minister Hani Mulki to demand an end to the new tax increases that will severely affect low and middle-class citizens.

Although they were some conflicts with police, the protest in its fifth day was mainly peaceful, as have all the other protest days.

The prime minister gave his resignation to King Abdullah II on Monday, who accepted it and said he was glad that responsibility had been taken in the matter.

In Jordan, the monarch has final say on a policy decision, but it is the prime minister that implements them. King Abdullah II promised reforms in the government but did not specify what kind they would be.

A government-affiliated newspaper Al-Rai along with other local media reported that the new Prime Minister would be the current Education Minister Omar Razzaz. He has previously served in the World Bank and is considered a reformer.

Jordan’s government has not yet released the name of the new prime minister.

Protest organizers have stated that they seek to see real reforms in government, including the new proposed tax increases to be done away with, they have also said that government official changes are irrelevant without policy change.

On Monday night, some protestors chanted “No to Mulki, No to Razzaz.”

A strike led by more than a dozen unions and organizations will be held on Wednesday while others said that they would suspend their protests to give the government a chance to consider new changes.

The International Monetary Bank had advised Jordan to implement new tax increases as a way to combat its growing public debt.

Conflicts in Jordan’s neighboring states Syria and Iraq, has negatively affected its economy, along with the large intake of refugees that have settled in Jordan.

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