Jordan’s King Abdullah vows to crack down on corruption

AMMAN: Jordan’s King Abdullah II has opened the country’s third ordinary session of parliament and delivered a speech during which he vowed to crack down on corruption.

The king acknowledged “dissatisfaction with the way current challenges are being addressed.”

“The process of construction and development in Jordan, as in other countries, has been marred by some flaws and challenges, which we need to learn from,” he said in his speech to mark the opening of parliament in Amman.

“Homelands are not built with skepticism and self-flagellation, nor with undermining achievements or denying them, but with knowledge, will and hard work.”

The king said he will not allow “Jordan’s reputation be at stake,” stressing that the country is capable of fighting corruption.

“All Jordanians have an equal right to justice, and corruption will not be left unaddressed to become a chronic social illness.

“I hereby affirm that the state’s institutions are well capable of uprooting corruption and holding to account those who dare to encroach on public funds,” he added.

Earlier in June, thousands of Jordanians hit the streets to protest against corruption, price rises and austerity measures.

The week of mass demonstrations forced the prime minister’s resignation and the withdrawal of a controversial income tax bill.

With a lack of natural resources to boost state coffers, Jordan relies heavily on foreign aid and faces an unemployment rate of 18.5 percent.

In 2016 Amman secured a $723-million loan from the International Monetary Fund, but the resultant economic reforms led to price hikes.

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