The Jordanian Parliament dismissed the suspended Member of Parliament Osama Al-Ajarmeh after he accused the Jordanian authorities of deliberately cutting off electricity causing a nationwide blackout in order to prevent a pro-Palestinian demonstration – and then called his own rally against the government.
As many Jordanian activists called for a demonstration on May 21 – the day after a ceasefire was called between Israel and Hamas – the electricity went out in the entire nation. Al-Ajarmeh said the power outage was intentional and was meant to prevent crowds from gathering to demonstrate in solidarity with the Palestinians. He said demonstrators were unable to fill up their vehicles with fuel to reach the capital, Amman.
Al- Ajarmeh made the accusations at a session of Parliament on May 24, implicating the government for its duplicity. Many parliamentarians rejected Al-Ajarmeh’s accusations, saying he failed to bring evidence that the power was cut to prevent the demonstration. The electric company said there was a technical problem in the transmission lines.
During the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Jordanians had gathered at the borders with Israel to rally in support of the Palestinians, as did Lebanese on Israel’s northern border.
Parliament voted to suspend Al-Ajarmeh, but he resigned on June 2, and he did not stop there. The former parliamentarian then incited the public, calling for demonstrations and rallying his base of tribal supporters. The demonstration turned violent between protestors and security personnel who tried to break up the riots. Four policemen were injured and several vehicles were burned.
The riots have led to whispers of possible instability in the Kingdom. Several political crises are plaguing Jordan, beginning with the involvement of the former Crown Prince Hamzah’s plans to destabilize Jordan and a failed coup attempt in which 20 people were arrested, including the former head of the royal court, Bassem Awadallah. Prince Hamzah was placed under house arrest.
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