Jordan king says he is in power to reform not to control

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Speaking to more than three thousand Jordanians in a conference, the King said, “My message to you, and to all political parties and forces: If you want to change Jordan for the better, there is a chance through the next elections, and through the upcoming parliament, and if you needed additional reforms, or to develop the electoral law, work on it under the dome of the next parliament, and through the ballot box, which embodies the will of the people,” reported Petra, the Jordanian news agency.

The king said citizens have the right to get clear answers to their questions “through practical programs based on fact, and far from theorizing.” “The size of participation, will determine the size of change,” he added.

“The next parliament will be our gateway to inclusive reform,” the king said.

King Abdullah II said ruling Jordan is a heavy responsibility that brings him no gain - an unusually strong-worded rebuke from an Arab monarch to critics who oppose his parliament-driven reform plan.

Abdullah’s road map envisions parliament electing a prime minister for the first time ever. Previously, it was the king’s prerogative to appoint a prime minister

But the powerful Islamist opposition is boycotting the polls, saying that the election system gives too much weight to traditional tribally based conservatives loyal to the monarchy. The conservatives are also skeptical of the reform plan, fearing it will cost them their clout.

Abdullah’s Tuesday remarks underline concerns over Jordan’s stability in the regional turbulence created by the Arab Spring.

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