Jordan's King Abdullah sacks cabinet, PM quits amid street protests

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NEW GOVERNMENT: Jordan’s King Abdullah has sacked his government and asked his former ex-military adviser Marouf Bakhit to form a new cabinet (Getty Images)

NEW GOVERNMENT: Jordan’s King Abdullah has sacked his government and asked his former ex-military adviser Marouf Bakhit to form a new cabinet (Getty Images)

Jordan’s King Abdullah has sacked his government and asked his former ex-military adviser Marouf Bakhit to form a new cabinet, state-run Petra news agency said on Tuesday.

King Abdullah’s move comes after thousands of Jordanians took to the streets, inspired by widespread riots in Tunisia and Egypt, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai.

The Royal Palace says Prime Minister Samir Rifai, a wealthy politician and former court adviser, resigned on Tuesday.

King Abdullah said Bakhit would have the task of taking “practical, swift and tangible steps to launch a real political reform process.”

Former Jordan Royal Court Chief, Adnan Abu Odeh, told Reuters the move was a response to the demands of the Jordanian people and warned the rioting may spread to other Arab states.

“It's the same virus that afflicted Tunisia, Egypt and is afflicting all Arab states. The difference between one country and another is the [level of] immunity,” he said.

“Hopefully Dr Bakhit will be able to read the scene better than before and to plan for a change, politically and economically ... It's a major step and it will help to stop the protests.”

Under fire from an enraged public over high food prices, Rifai announced wage increases two weeks ago to civil servants and the military in an attempt to restore calm.

Protests have spread across Jordan in the last few weeks, with demonstrators blaming corruption spawned by free-market reforms for the plight of the country's poor.

Many Jordanians hold successive governments responsible for a prolonged recession and rising public debt that hit a record $15bn this year in one of the Arab world's smallest economies, heavily dependent on foreign aid.

*With agencies

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Posted by: samer

Thank god this king has calmer heads & on the better side of the 21st century for advisors!!!

Posted by: Jim

If the people of Egypt are successful in gaining a degree of democracy, the example will be made, and many more will follow. And if not, then the status quo of dictatorship and oppression will prevail.

Posted by: Jordanian Royalist

the same democracy that gave palestinians the right to live and work and become citizens.

as a jordanian i do not want to see our prime minister elected not now and not in a 100 years. our demographics and level of education does not allow us to elect a PM

Posted by: samer

Clearly a new form of politics has emerged from the most unlikely places. Tunisian & Egyptian youths have given real substance to the concept of "leaderless / community wide" grass-roots participation AND intervention, using mainly the most modern channels of mobilization, the internet.

It remains to be seen :
1- Will this be a local or regional (middle east) "fad" will this trend expand globally, &
2- Will the established political structures absorb (& survive) this new politics

Jordan is but a grain in the sand... I am sure many people are calculating the barrage of "what if" that make us all tick.

Posted by: A.S.

Long live king abdullah and we as jordanians extend all our support behind his majesty the king. Jordan will never be the next tunisia or the next egypt because we have a large number of Jordanians who genuinly love the king and will fight for him and for jordan any day ....

Long live the king

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