Authorities have endorsed 24 new municipalities amid protests continuing for a second day, with dissatisfied citizens closing roads and staging sit-ins in various parts of the country. The endorsement of the new municipalities, which came despite a Cabinet decision on Tuesday to look into outstanding applications after the December 27 municipal elections, raises the number of these new entities to 123, making the total number of municipalities 216.
In the Village of Salem, a southern district of Amman, residents closed a major highway leading to Sahab, east of the capital, demanding that the government establish a municipality for their area and separate it from the Greater Amman Municipality. An official source at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs told The Jordan Times that the demand has been met, pending the signature of Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit.
Eyewitnesses passing through the Sahab highway said Thursday that the protesters burned tyres to close the highway, interrupting traffic and forcing drivers to seek alternative routes.
The media office of the Public Security Department (PSD) did not have updated information on the roads closed due to such protests early Thursday evening, saying: “We cannot confirm yet whether these roads are open for traffic or not.”
The PSD later issued a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, in which it stressed that it will continue to provide protection for all rallies and other forms of peaceful expression of public opinion.