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Al-Ahed Telegram

Jordan: King Abdullah Calls for Tax Review as the Kingdom Faces Largest Protests in Years

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Local Editor

King of Jordan Abdullah ibn al-Hussein ordered the country's new Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz to conduct a review of a controversial new tax bill following days of protests.

Jordan Protests

In further details, al-Razzaz, education minister and former World Bank economist replaced former Prime Minister Hani Mulki, who resigned on Monday.

The protests in Jordan, a key Western ally, are the biggest in years.

Commenting in the new tax bill backed by the International Monetary Fund [IMF], demonstrators say it will hurt the poor and middle class.

Mulki refused to scrap the proposals, which include higher taxes and more austerity measures.

In the letter appointing Razzaz to form a new government on Tuesday, King Abdullah said that the cabinet "must carry out a comprehensive review of the tax system" to avoid "unjust taxes that do not achieve justice and balance between the incomes of the poor and the rich".

The previous evening, the monarch warned that Jordan risked entering "the unknown" if it failed to find a way out of the current crisis, Jordan's Petra news agency reported.

Protesters gathered outside the prime minister's office for a fifth night after Mulki announced he was stepping down. Police have previously said that dozens of people have been detained and over 40 members of the security forces injured.

The IMF, which gave Jordan a loan worth $723m in 2016, backed the new tax bill, but protesters believe it would further worsen living standards.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team