Jordan. King Abdullah continued during the year to try to curb the growing dissatisfaction of the population through careful reforms. Prime Minister Awn al-Khasawneh resigned in April after only six months in office. He had been criticized by the opposition for failing to implement promised reforms and gave up everything because of the inertia of the system. King Abdullah replaced him with Fayez Tarawneh, who had been prime minister under Abdullah’s father King Hussein and who was considered more conservative. It was the fourth time since the outbreak of the Arab Spring of 2011 that the country received a new prime minister. The fifth time was in October, when the King disbanded Parliament, announced new elections until January 2013 and appointed a new acting Prime Minister, Abdullah Ensour.
A new electoral law came into force in July. The number of MPs was increased from 120 to 150, more seats were reserved for party-elected candidates and each voter was given two votes, one for local candidates and one for national. The king also promised that Parliament would be given power to appoint the country’s prime minister, something he had done so far himself. Critics said the changes were cosmetic because they did not give Parliament power over laws and budgets and also disadvantaged Jordanians with Palestinian backgrounds.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Jordan. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
The opposition became increasingly sharp in its criticism of the great unemployment and the widespread corruption. When the government announced in mid-November that subsidies on gas and other fuel were falling, tens of thousands of protesters were out on the streets across the country. In many places, the demonstrations degenerated in crows and at least one protester was killed.
Eleven people were arrested in October for suspected terrorist acts against shopping malls and Western diplomats in the capital Amman.
In April, the human rights organization Human Rights Watch criticized the authorities for violating freedom of expression. The organization pointed to several cases where opposites had been arrested since they, e.g. had criticized the king.
Jordan received hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria.
According to countryaah, the population of Jordan in 2012 was 9,266,464, ranking number 93 in the world. The population growth rate was 5.000% yearly, and the population density was 104.3768 people per km2.