Jordan tribes slam 'crisis of authority'
A group of members of major tribes, which form the backbone of the regime in Jordan, condemned the country's "crisis of authority" and corruption, warning of a popular revolt
AFP , Sunday 6 Feb 2011
"Jordan will sooner or later be the target of an uprising similar to the ones in Tunisia and Egypt due to suppression of freedoms and looting of public funds," 36 tribal leaders said in a joint statement.
They warned against the "interference in executive decisions by those who have no constitutional powers," in an apparent reference to Queen Rania, wife of Jordan's King Abdullah II.
"The queen is building centres to boost her power and serve her interests, against the will of Jordanians and Hashemites," the leaders said, comparing her to the wife of ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
The tribes represent nearly 40 percent of the Jordanian population and their role is vital in the country's politics and stability. Their loyalty to the Hashemite ruling family has been crucial in times of crises in the past century.
The group said the country suffers from a "crisis of authority" and growing influence of "corrupt businessmen in the entourage of the executive power, affecting political decisions and ignoring national interest."
They called for a "trial of the corrupt who have looted the country and public funds, regardless of who they are and irrespective of their rank and importance."
"We call for a modern electoral law based on consultations with all political forces in Jordan, enhancing freedoms and the formation of a national salvation government to oversee a transparent parliamentary election."
A popular news website, ammonnews.net, said on Sunday it was the target of "anonymous (Internet) piracy and attacks" for publishing the statement.
"The statement has been mysteriously removed from our site, which was attacked. We have been informed by some parties that we will be sued for publishing the statement," Basel Akur, the site's editor, told AFP.
Popular discontent in Jordan has led to several protests, inspired by revolts which have ousted Tunisia's strongman Ben Ali and threaten the regime of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak.