Jordan’s King Abdullah II has dissolved the country’s parliament and called for early elections, amid popular protests in the country.
The statement specified no date for the polls but the king reportedly plans to hold the elections before the end of 2012. Jordanians have been holding demonstrations since January 2011, demanding political reforms, including the election of prime minister by popular vote and an end to corruption. Press TV has conducted an interview with Saeb Shaath, an author and Middle East affairs expert, to further discuss the issue. What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Jordan’s capital, Amman, today witnessed one of the biggest protests that country has seen for several years. They were quick, though, in demanding rapid reforms, and that’s one of their slogans before they actually revolted. If you can, please tell us about the political dynamics of Jordan, which is the poorest kingdom in the Middle East.
Shaath: Jordan was established as a buffer zone between the Zionist entity after the British mandate decided to slice Palestine between into Jordan in the east and the Zionist entity in the west, Jordan to play as a buffer between the Muslims and Arabs to protect Israel. Any political maneuver in Jordan has to have the blessing of the Zionists and the imperialists in the Middle East, and that is the function of Jordan. Jordan’s government in 1958 was dissolved, and the powers of the government and parliament were taken back since the unification process between Egypt and Syria of 1958 – they thought that was threatening Jordan. From that time, the king of Jordan took powers back from the people. Today, the Muslim Brotherhood, especially, and other political parties want these kinds of powers back to the parliament, back to the political parties. The only way it can be done is if the king and his imperialists Western backers can guarantee the Muslim Brotherhoods’ willingness, according to the imperialist agenda which – i.e. keeping the peace treaty with Israel going – makes sure the Israelis are happy with any development of -the Muslim Brotherhood taking over the system in there.
Since that is the main goal of the king, to give guarantees to the West and to Israel, there are no reforms which can influence the security of Israel. That is the bulk of the thing.
The Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t want to go to elections since they know that the new scenario for the elections won’t give them the powers or even a majority in parliament which they are wishing to get.
Press TV: So you have a series of requests of which, obviously, the election of a prime minister democratically is one of them; you have a budget of which – well, Jordan doesn’t really have much of an income, for example the influx of the refugees from Syria is also squeezing their budget. Do you feel that the time is up for King Abdullah? If so, what is that going to mean for countries in the region such as the allies of the United States and Israel, like Saudi Arabia, like Qatar? On the other hand, what would it mean for the US to lose an ally were that to happen?
Shaath: If we noticed last year with the wave of the Arab Spring touching the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states invited Morocco and Jordan to be a part of their Gulf states corporation council. To join all the monarchies of the Arab world, royalties in one club, they want to use the population of Jordan and Morocco as soldiers to secure Saudi Arabia and these Gulf ‘Meshiakhism’ or emirates in there. The future of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan is linked to the imperialist project and the Zionist project in the Middle East. As long as there is a secure and strong Israel, it demands secure and strong kingdom of the Hashemite in Jordan to protect it, and the Zionists, as well, to protect its back. We will see King Abdullah in Jordan as long as the Americans, the West and the Zionists want him there. He is linked to them. This kingdom was established by them and will be secured by them.