The opposition Islamic Action Front has been leading demonstrations
against Jordan's new government. IAF has rejected an offer to join the
government of Prime Minister Marruf Bakhit.
"Under the circumstances, any participation in this government is out of
the question," IAF chairman Hamzah Mansour said.
The opposition campaign has called for the election of Jordan's prime
minister, now appointed by King Abdullah. Over the last two weeks, the
party, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, organized tens of thousands of
people to call for economic and political reforms.
In November, IAF boycotted parliamentary elections amid charges
that the government redrew electoral districts meant to marginalize the
Islamists. Hamzah said his party has demanded early elections that would
undo the redistricting.
The opposition campaign has sparked pledges by Abdullah for sweeping
reforms. Unlike Egypt, the Islamist protests have not resulted in violence.
A leading Islamist politician, Leith Shubeilat, issued a letter that
warned of an opposition campaign that could target King Abdullah. Shubeilat,
a former parliamentarian, said the street protests could quickly become
"I realize that I reached the end of the road, which may lead to my
assassination," Shubeilat, whose letter was withdrawn after two hours, said.
The kingdom was also said to be threatened by growing unrest among the
Palestinian majority. On Feb. 8, parliament's deputy speaker, Atef Tarawneh,
warned against Amman's decision to revoke the citizenship of thousands of
Palestinians who live abroad. At the same time, Tarawneh said, Jordan was
providing citizenship to Palestinian Authority leaders, including chairman
Mahmoud Abbas and his two sons.