Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulki resigned from his government position Monday in the wake of several days of mass protests in the capital Amman — the country's largest demonstrations in more than five years.
The resignation, reported by Reuters quoting an official source, was said to have been brokered during a meeting with the country's King Abdullah II, who called for "national dialogue" in the wake of public anger over tax increases. The hike on taxes and price increases on many basic goods were imposed as part of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) austerity package designed to reduce the Middle Eastern country's debt.
More than 3,000 protesters were gathered outside the prime minister's office Sunday, according to various media reports, chanting slogans like "the ones raising prices want to burn the country" and "this is our Jordan, Mulki should leave."
Jordan's government, which has seen seven different prime minsters in the last 10 years, has been pursuing economic reforms as part of a $723 million three-year line of credit from the IMF.
The country of nearly 10 million has a 94 percent debt-to-GDP ratio, and the loan aims to cut this to 77 percent by 2021 through reforms that will "bolster economic growth" and achieve "gradual fiscal consolidation," according to the IMF.