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No going back on reform in Jordan, says King

Jordan's King Abdullah II has said that the democracy which he seeks in his country will ensure the right of free expression, freedom of opinion and protest by peaceful means, as long as it is in compliance with the law and the public interest.

The King told Jordanian television that there is no going back on reform. He is optimistic that his country will go through this stage with the traditional vigour and determination of the people of Jordan: "The future of the younger generations is our responsibility, and we will commit to the covenant, carrying the same message."


King Abdullah stated that he looks positively at what he called "the constructive and responsible mobility" in his country. This is an expression of democracy and evidence of the consciousness of the people, he said. He acknowledged, however, that one of the reasons for this movement is the "lack of confidence in the ability of state institutions to care for the interests of the people and meet their needs for essential services". Not only that, the King added, but also Jordanian citizens' suffering from the high cost of living, poverty, unemployment and the imbalance in development around the provinces. "These are the reasons behind the current demands for wider political participation, a more equitable distribution of development gains, as well as the enhancement of the integrity of public administration." He stressed that he is in favour of these demands as they represent a supreme national interest.

"The governing philosophy of the Hashemite monarchy is not based on a monopoly of power or control," said King Abdullah. "It is based on historical legitimacy arising out of achievement." He emphasised that he views reform in terms of the national responsibility and public interest. In doing so he confirmed that the ultimate goal of reform is to have a representative and responsible parliamentary government built on political parties and positive opposition.

 

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