Islamists protest after Jordan king calls early elections


Thousands of Islamists demonstrated in central Amman to call for reforms on Friday, just hours after King Abdullah II dissolved parliament and called early polls without any major political change.
“We demand constitutional reform before the people revolt. The people want to reform the regime,” they chanted in the demonstration held outside Al-Husseini mosque in downtown Amman.
The crowd is estimated to be around 15000
“Democratic electoral law, constitutional changes, parliamentary governments, independent judiciary, constitutional court, effective anti-corruption efforts and preventing security services from interfering in political life,” read a large banner carried by protesters spelling out their demands.
Police said they prevented a group of youths from attacking the demonstrators, after they arrested eight people who were found to be carrying firearms in three minibuses heading into central Amman.
“We have been protesting for more than 20 months and you still do not understand our demands. We do not like demonstrations but we love Jordan,” read another banner carried by the protesters.
The demonstration was the latest in a series of protests in Jordan since January 2011 to call for political and economic reforms and to demand an end to corruption.
The king decided to dissolve the chamber of deputies on Thursday and to call early elections, the royal palace said. It gave no date, although the monarch has said he wants polls to be held by the end of 2012.
But the opposition Muslim Brotherhood said it was going ahead with its planned rally in central Amman after Friday prayers, with the group predicting an estimated 50,000 supporters would attend.