Jordan Prince Hamza Renounced Title, Protests Policies

Jordan Prince Hamza Renounced Title, Protests Policies
Jordan Prince Hamza Renounced Title, Protests Policies

Prince Hamza bin al-Hussein, Jordan’s former heir to the throne who was detained last year, declared on Sunday that he was handing up his royal title in protest of the country’s present policies.

Last April, Hamza was accused of plotting to destabilize the monarchy with the help of a foreign power, but he was spared punishment after swearing allegiance to King Abdullah, his half-brother.

In a letter posted to his Twitter account, Hamza said that what he had seen in recent years made it difficult for him to support Jordan’s institutions’ policies.

“I have come to the conclusion that my personal convictions and beliefs instilled in me by my father (the late King Hussein) are incompatible with our institutions’ direction, instructions, and modern procedures,” he wrote.

When King Hussein died in 1999 and Abdullah became king, Hamza, 42, was designated Crown Prince, but he lost that title five years later when Abdullah put his own son as successor.

After raising claims of corruption and dictatorial governance, he was placed under house arrest last year. Jordan’s image as a haven of calm in the volatile Middle East was shattered by the feud.

For their roles in an alleged scheme to bring Hamza to power, a former royal senior adviser and a junior royal were eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Hamza apologized last month and promised not to act against Jordan’s rulers’ interests in the future.

On Sunday, he issued a brief statement in which he stated that he will continue to serve Jordan in his private life, but he made no mention of the king or any future position for himself.

It was released on the first day of Ramadan, a Muslim holy month, and was loaded with religious phrases that are expected to appeal to traditional Jordanians, whom Hamza is said to have courted over the years.

Following last year’s crisis, major Western and regional nations rallied behind King Abdullah, demonstrating unusual public support for a loyal US ally who plays a key role in regional security.

The queen described the issue as “the most terrible” because it originated both within and outside the royal family.