Jordanian Beduin tribes demand political reforms

Tribal leaders launch attack on Queen Rania, who is of Palestinian descent, accusing her of corruption and interference.

King Abdullah (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
King Abdullah
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
In an unprecedented move, leaders of powerful Jordanian Beduin tribes have warned King Abdullah II that he risks a popular revolt unless he implements political reforms.
The tribal leaders also launched a scathing attack on Queen Rania, who is of Palestinian descent, and accused her of financial corruption and interfering in the government’s running of the kingdom.
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The attack on the queen reflects increased tensions between Jordanians and Palestinians living in the country.
The queen, “her sycophants and the power centers that surround her” are dividing Jordan, said the statement signed by 36 tribal leaders.
The statement likened Rania to Leila Trabelsi, the wife of ousted Tunisian President Zine el Abideen Bin Ali.
The Beduin leaders urged the king to fight against corruption and those who have “looted the country and public funds.” A Jordanian news website that published their strongly worded statement said it had come under attack by “international hackers.”
Some Jordanians, however, held the mukhabarat, or General Intelligence service, responsible.
“The Tunisian and Egyptian hurricane will come to Jordan, sooner or later,” said the statement.
“We express regret over the fact that the regime has surrounded itself with a group of corrupt commercial partners.
Jordan is suffering from a regime and government crisis, as well as a crisis of corruption.”
The tribal leaders said that “people without freedom are a people without an identity, and a people without freedom and justice are a people without dignity. Political reform is now an urgent matter that cannot be delayed; holding the corrupt and the thieves accountable and freezing their assets, prohibiting them from traveling, are all part and parcel of political reform.”
The statement warned of an “explosion if poverty humiliates people.”