Jordan PM Resigns After Protests Over Tax Bill

Jordanian Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki on Monday tendered his resignation to King Abdullah II following protests over a controversial income tax bill.

King Abdullah accepted the resignation and appointed education minister Omar al-Razzaz to head up a new government, a source close to the premiership told Anadolu Agency.

An official statement is expected to be released soon.

Dozens detained in Jordan protests: Police chief

At least 60 people, including foreigners, have been arrested during a recent wave of protests in Jordan, according to the country’s police chief.

“We have arrested 60 people, including foreigners, for sabotage and assaulting security forces,” Major General Fadel al-Hamoud told a press conference in the capital Amman on Monday.

He, however, did not specify the nationality of foreigners held in the demonstrations.

Al-Hamoud said 42 security personnel were injured during the protests that rocked the kingdom in recent days over the government’s economic policies.

The police chief said the recent protests “did not mean that the state was weak”.

Rather, he said, “the state has chosen a policy of containing” the protests.

Any “attempt to penetrate the security system will end up with failure,” al-Hamoud said.

Jordan has been rocked by protests in recent days after the government approved an amended version of a tax bill that would, if passed, subject all annual incomes of 8,000 Jordanian dinars (roughly $11,200) or more to additional taxes.

The government recently raised electricity prices — for the fifth time this year — leading to further popular discontent. It also raised subsidized fuel prices by 5.5 percent before reversing the move at the request of King Abdullah II.