Jordan protesters brave heat wave to demand reform

More than 2,000 Jordanians braved blistering temperatures on Friday to demonstrate across the country against recent hikes in commodity prices, demanding sweeping political change and constitutional reform.

"Instead of raising prices, hold the corrupt accountable. Reform the constitution and let the people see the light," read one of the banners carried by around 1,000 protesters, including Islamists, leftists and youths, who marched in central Amman.

"We want to reform the regime. We do not want empty promises," they chanted as they marched in scorching 42 degree Celsius heat.

A few weeks after its formation in May, the government increased the prices of fuel, electricity and other commodities to offset a US$3 billion deficit in this year's $9.6 billion budget.

"We are not asking for the impossible. We have the right to see reforms and we will not stop our protests until we achieve our goals," former Islamist MP Jaafar Hurnai told the demonstration.

Other activists held a sit-in outside the parliament building, demanding, "Dread, freedom and social justice."

At least 1,000 held similar demonstrations in the southern cities of Irbid as well as Karak and Tafeilh in the north.

Jordan has witnessed regular street protests since January last year demanding sweeping reforms and tough action against corruption.

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