The king of Jordan has dissolved his government and appointed a new prime minister, in the wake of protests demanding political reform and economic improvements.
King Abdullah II ordered former army general Marouf Al Bakhit to create a new cabinet that will implement genuine political reform, according to a statement from the Royal Court.
Bakhit, 64, also served as prime minister from 2005 to 2007.
According to the letter sent by the monarch to Bakhit, the new government will be expected to take practical steps, quick and concrete, to launch a process of genuine political reform, comprehensive development, and take genuine steps towards strengthening democracy.”
Amidst growing unrest in other parts of the Arab world, especially Egypt, an amalgam of protesters in Jordan, including Islamists, trade unionists and leftists demonstrated last week for the removal of prime minister Samir Rifai, blaming him for higher food prices and rising joblessness, among other social ills.
On Monday, a member of the Islamic Action Front's executive council, Zaki Bani Rsheid, said the opposition demanded “the resignation of the government, the amendment of the electoral law and the formation of a national salvation government headed by an elected prime minister.”
However, unlike Egypt or Tunisia, the opposition did not appear to seek a more comprehensive regime change.