Hundreds of Jordanians protested in Amman and other Jordanian cities on Saturday, June 2, over proposed price electricity and fuel price hikes (now frozen by order of King Abdullah II) and an income tax law drafted in accordance with International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendations. Related protests have affected Amman and other cities since Wednesday, May 30, when trade unions called for a nationwide strike and protests over the proposed income tax draft law; notably, on Friday, June 1, protesters gathered outside of the prime minister's office in Amman, calling on King Abdullah II to depose him. Additional anti-government protests, strike actions, and transportation disruptions are expected in Jordan in the coming days. A heightened security presence is expected near protest sites.
The IMF-backed austerity measures, including raising taxes and removing subsidies, are part of a three-year initiative aimed at reducing the country's debt, which remains at 95 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
Several protests have been held in Jordan in recent months over tax and price hikes. In addition to the abovementioned protests, demonstrations broke out after the Jordanian government increased the prices of fuel and bread, as well as the value-added tax on various consumer goods such as cigarettes, carbonated drinks, and jewelry in January 2018. In February, the government also announced hikes to public transport fares, including taxis and buses, and electricity and oil prices, leading to more demonstrations.
Individuals in Jordan, particularly in Amman, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.