In an attempt to placate voters angry about fuel price hikes, Jordan has lowered cigarette prices. But the two moves have overshadowed the key thing: voting in upcoming elections.
Jordan is less than two weeks away from a parliamentary election, but the vote has been overshadowed by the government's recent fuel price hikes and decision to lower cigarette prices.
Many Jordanians see the latter as either the government caving to business interests – a price floor made it difficult for manufacturers to compete – or an effort to distract voters from their dissatisfaction with the government as they prepare to go to the polls. A slash in government fuel subsidies late last year is hitting Jordanians hard in the pocketbook; a gas canister that used to cost 6.5 dinars now costs 10 (about $14).
The painful hike in cooking and heating gas took effect late last year, triggering days of demonstrations and prompting speculation that the Hashemite Kingdom might succumb to the popular unrest that upended governments in Egypt, Syria, and Libya, although those concerns did not materialize.
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