Jordan’s king suspends fuel price hike after rising protests

Photo: Jordan’s king suspends fuel price hike after rising protests  / Arabic region

Jordan's King Abdullah II on Sunday suspended a fuel price rise amid rising protests over the measure, dpa reported.

According to the state news agency Petra, the king moved to suspend a government decision, made on Saturday, to raise fuel prices by 10 per cent - a measure that sparked nationwide anti-government protests.

The decision came as Jordanian lawmakers called on the king to oust Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh for imposing the price rise, threatening to follow through on a vote of no confidence in the premier.

Taxi drivers in the capital, Amman, had brought traffic to a halt early Sunday in protest at the price rise, while citizens in the northern city of Irbid held a sit-in to protest the move.

Thousands of Jordanians rallied in nationwide anti-government protests hours after Saturday's decision, calling for the government's resignation and accusing the Royal Palace of "condoning corruption."

Although the king retains the constitutional authority to appoint and dismiss governments, such direct interference in policy matters is extremely rare in Jordan.

A conservative former Royal Court chief, Tarawneh was tapped by Abdullah to helm the fourth government in a little over a year in April.

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