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Jordan's opposition demonstrates for reform

Protesters have taken to the streets in Jordan in demonstrations led by the Muslim Brotherhood. The activists are calling on the country's king to take bolder steps towards democratization.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Jordan's capital, Amman, on Friday in an opposition rally that has been described as the biggest the kingdom has witnessed since the start of the Arab Spring in late 2010.

"We demand constitutional reform before the people revolt. The people want to reform the regime," protesters chanted outside the Al-Husseini mosque, located in downtown Amman.

Opponents to the regime in Jordan have called for the constitution to be altered so that the prime minister is elected, rather than appointed by the country's leader, King Abdullah II.

Although Abdullah has promised to allow lawmakers to create the next government as part of recent efforts to initiate incremental political reforms, he retains the authority to choose prime ministers and dissolve parliament.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which is organizing Friday's protests, has predicted that 50,000 Jordanians will join in.

The rallies were called after Abdullah dissolved his parliament and announced early elections, albeit without a set date. The king has been under pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood and other political parties in the country since he passed electoral legislation in July that critics say is biased in favor of regime loyalists.

sej/tj (dpa, AFP)