Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Burqa woman by Pakistani comedian Saad Haroon

The King of Jordan made a smart move

King Abdullah II of Jordan today sacked the government after weeks of protests, but his choice of replacement premier failed to satisfy the powerful Islamist opposition's demands for reform. The king named Maruf Bakhit to replace Samir Rifai with orders to carry out "true political reforms," the palace said, but the Islamists criticised the choice, saying he is not a reformist. "Bakhit's mission is to take practical, quick and tangible steps to launch true political reforms, enhance Jordan's democratic drive and ensure safe and decent living for all Jordanians," a palace statement said.
But Zaki Bani Rsheid, a leader of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), said Bakhit "is a not a man of reforms." (if the Islamists are pro-reform..just a joke) The Islamists have long charged that the 2007 election was rigged after only six of the IAF's 22 candidates were victorious that year, a tally sharply down on the 17 seats the group won in the previous polls in 2003.
Loyalists of the king again won a landslide in new elections last November after the IAF boycotted the poll in protest at constituency boundaries they said under-represented their urban strongholds.
"We need a man who is well respected by the people, a man who does not have a history of corruption and oppression. How can he (Bakhit) lead political reform?" Bani Rsheid asked.
For IAF chief Hamzah Mansur, "reforms have not started yet."
"With the choice of Bakhit, it's obvious that reforms have not started yet. We are against Bakhit because our experience with him is not encouraging," Mansur said.
"There is no reason to stop the protests now," he added, referring to his party's calls for a sit-in outside the prime minister's office.
The Islamist opposition said on Monday that it had started a dialogue with the state, saying that, unlike the situation in Egypt, it did not seek regime change.
Opposition demands included "the resignation of the government, the amendment of the electoral law and the formation of a national salvation government headed by an elected prime minister," acoording Bani Rsheid
The Islamists have also called for constitutional amendments to curb the king's power in naming heads of government, arguing that the premiership should go to the leader of the majority in parliament.
Despite recent government measures to pump around 500 million dollars into the economy in a bid to help improve living conditions, protests have been held in Amman and other cities over the past three weeks to demand political and economic reform.
Official unemployment stands at 14 percent in a country of six million people, 70 percent of them under the age of 30. Independent estimates put the jobless figure at 30 percent.
Tunisia's popular revolt, which ousted veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, has inspired dissidents across the Arab world.
The King of Jordan only made some pre-caution actions to prevent that Islamists thugs can impose their idiotry upon other people.

Day Opening - February 1