Jordan: King Abdullah II Considers Postponing Elections
King Abdullah II of Jordan has alluded to a postponement of the upcoming parliamentary elections. During a government banquet, Abdullah said “The elections will be held on time, unless something new or urgent takes place.” Additionally, the widening division between the government and opposition has led the king to consider undertaking three initiatives to defuse the situation. The initiatives include a postponement of the elections, adding quick amendments to the electoral law and launching a comprehensive national dialogue; reaching a new deal between the government and the opposition; or holding the elections on time without mentioning the law according to which the elections will be held.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Amman on November 30 to call for the removal of Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and for a re-institution of fuel subsidies. “Wisdom is needed by the authorities to defuse the crisis the country is facing and to respond to people’s demands to abolish price increases and form a government of national salvation,” said Sheikh Hamza Mansour, head of the Islamic Action Front. “Unless the state backs down, the nation is open to all possibilities,” he warned. Also on Friday, a Jordanian policeman died from wounds related to fuel subsidy protests in mid-October. One protester was killed and 75 others, including 57 policemen, were wounded during those riots.
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with King Abdullah to discuss Palestine’s non-member observer state status at the U.N. and its strategy moving forward. ”There are many steps that must be taken. The communication and organization between us and Jordan must always be at their best level,” Abbas said. In other news, the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution which calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty “without further delay” and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Although it is widely believed that Israel possesses a nuclear arsenal, the government has refused to confirm or deny the allegations.