Jordan Freezes Hike in Crude Oil Prices, in Response to Weekend Protests

89 MPs submit no-confidence motion as 300 – many of them members of Muslim Brotherhood - demonstrate in Amman, urging regime to implement comprehensive reforms.

Jordanian King Abdullah II instructed Prime Minister Fayez al-Tarawneh on Sunday to freeze the recent government decision to raise the cost of petrol and diesel fuel in the country.

The decision met sharp criticism from the Jordanian parliament and public after it went public on Friday. Eighty-nine parliament members submitted a motion of no-confidence in the government at an irregular assembly of Jordan's legislative body.

Hundreds of demonstrators protested the decision across the country over the weekend. In the demonstrations in the capital Amman, some 300 people gathered - most members of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there were protesters from other parties as well – with calls of denunciation against the government.

Deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, Zaki Bani Rsheid, lambasted the Tarawneh government, accusing it of trying to advance laws that contradict the will of the Jordanian people.

The prime minister claims that he had had no choice but to cut the government subsidy of crude oil, which is severely pinching the country's budget. According to the government's original decision, 90 liters of petrol were slated to increase from 0.7 dinars to .77 dinars, a hike of 10 percent.

Many parliament members rescinded their vote of no-confidence following the king's decision to freeze the hike, while others maintained the motion, citing general problems with the government's operations.

Tensions in Jordan between the regime and its opponents are only expected to intensify in the coming weeks. Several reports in Arab media indicate that the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has decided to step up its resistance to the king and his regime, demanding they implement more comprehensive reforms.

This strategic decision made by the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan effectively means entering confrontation with the kingdom. The movement has decided to conduct massive rallies on the weekends in the Jordanian capital, and has even invited several non-religious parties to join the demonstrations.