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Is Jordan’s 'Arab Spring' Over?

King Abdullah II seems to have weathered a storm, at least for now.
Jordanian fans cheer for their team during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Uzbekistan at King Abdullah stadium in Amman September 6, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed (JORDAN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) - RTX13AA1

AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan’s version of the Arab Spring may be over quietly and unceremoniously. Regional upheavals, especially in Syria and Egypt, have dampened Jordanians’ appetite for drastic change in their own country. A year ago, tens of anti-government protests would take place, especially on Fridays, across the country. Most were organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, but some were led by the Jordanian Youth Movement, or hirak, whose slogans often crossed red lines. They called for regime change and accused King Abdullah II of corruption. Many of their leaders are now in prison and some will stand trial in front of the State Security Court (SSC) on charges that range from insulting the king to attempting to overthrow the regime.

But it has been more than three months now since large demonstrations were held in Amman or elsewhere. Last November, when the newly appointed government of Abdullah Ensour floated the price of gasoline and ended state subsidies, thousands took to the streets and the country saw three days of angry demonstrations and clashes with the police. The opposition — an alliance between the Islamists and the National Reform Front (NRF), which is a coalition of leftist and nationalist groups and parties — threatened to further derail austerity measures. But when the government raised the price of electricity last month nothing happened. It was a sign that neither the Islamists nor the rest of the opposition was able to mobilize the street anymore.

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