Protests, largely peaceful, began in January calling for political and economic reform amid high unemployment and a high cost of living. King Abdullah II, who has held power since 1999 responded by replacing his cabinet and permitting public gatherings. He has demanded “real and fast” reforms and a clampdown on corruption in a bid to quell the protests. The new cabinet has promised to investigate clashes on Friday 18 in Amman, in which several demonstrators were injured. Previously disparate opposition groups are beginning to unite their calls for more limits to the King’s powers and a constitutional monarchy.
Political system: monarchy
King: Abdullah II bin al-Hussein – 1999 / …
Population: 5.9 million
Human Development Index1: 82nd
1 HDI is calculated according to factors such as schooling, life expectancy and gross national income and is used by the UN’s Development Programme for its Human development reports.