Thousands call for reform on Jordan ''Day of Anger''

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Amman, Feb 25 (AFP) Several thousand peopledemonstrated in the centre of the Jordanian capital Ammantoday in a "Day of Anger" to call for political reformsorganised by the powerful Islamist opposition and otherparties.

There was a strong security presence, but policestayed on the sidelines and even gave bottles of water andjuice to the protesters.

"We are demonstrating today against the officialbullying and to demand reforms," leading trade unionistMaisara Malas told AFP.

"We seek regime reforms. We want a true parliamentarymonarchy. The monarchy should not dominate parliament."

Hamzah Mansur, chief of the Islamic Action Front, thepolitical arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, told thecrowds "reforms have become a necessity that cannot bedelayed."

"We want immediate constitutional change to helpcreate productive governments and a truly representativeparliament. These are the demands of all Jordanians."

Holding national flags and pictures of King AbdullahII, the protesters chanted: "The people want to reform theregime, dissolve parliament and amend the constitution."

They carried banners reading "we have no place forcorruption and the corrupt," and "enough bullying, we wantdemocracy, not a security mentality."

They also called for scrapping amendments to the 1952constitution, which was promulgated by King Abdullah II''sgrandfather King Talal.

The document has been amended 29 times, giving greaterpower to the monarch and weakening the legislature, expertssay.

Police said 6,000 people took part in thedemonstration, the largest since last month, while organisersput the figure at more than 10,000 supporters of the Islamistmovement and 19 political parties.

A top security official told AFP that more than "3,000members of different security services are currently indowntown."

Police gave water and juice bottles to the protesters,who also demonstrated to "denounce violence," in which eightpeople were hurt last week when a baton-wielding mob wadedinto a pro-reform march in Amman.

"Three people have been arrested over their suspectedinvolvement in the violence last Friday," another seniorsecurity official told AFP.

The government has condemned the violence and opened aprobe into the incident.

Meanwhile, more than 100 supporters of the Hashemiteroyal family gathered outside Al-Husseini Mosque, in the heartof the capital. (AFP)

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