Jordan's king calls for 'quick and real' political reforms

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 20, 2011 18:18

AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan's King Abdullah II on Sunday called for "quick and real" political reforms to give the public a greater role in governing and to eliminate corruption, favoritism and nepotism.

The king's comments are his first public remarks since anti-government protests — inspired by the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt — began in Jordan seven weeks ago. Activists are demanding a stronger role in politics and greater political freedoms.

Speaking to lawmakers, judges and Cabinet officials at his hilltop palace, Abdullah vowed to forge ahead with political reforms, saying such changes are "in the interest of our people."

He called for a comprehensive review of all bills, especially a heavily disputed election law that the opposition claims favors the king's Bedouin tribal loyalists at the expense of Islamists and other constituencies.

The election law, Abdullah said, must "increase people's participation in making their future, so that competition in elections would be based on programs and to move into a new era in running the affairs of the state."


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