Jordan King Abdullah changes cabinet again amid protests

Reshuffle falls short of demands by opposition, which is seeking resignation of current government
Jordan King Abdullah changes cabinet again amid protests
King Abdullah II of Jordan (Getty Images)
By Bloomberg
Sun 03 Jul 2011 10:02 AM

Jordan’s
King Abdullah ordered a reshuffle of the cabinet on Saturday, the second
government change since pro-democracy protests started earlier this year.

Eleven
new cabinet members in Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit’s government, including the
interior, information and justice ministers, were sworn in, the country’s
state-run news agency Petra said. The reshuffle falls short of demands by the
opposition, which organsed large demonstrations on Saturday to demand the
resignation of the Bakhit government.

Jordan’s
opposition, led by Islamists, has been staging demonstrations since the start
of the year to demand constitutional and political changes, as well as an end
to corruption.

King Abdullah changed the government after street protests and
appointed Bakhit in February. The monarch has promised to ease restrictions on
political parties and allow the formation of governments based on a
parliamentary majority, without saying when it will happen.

Three
members of Jordan’s parliament resigned and another 54 said June 30 they will
boycott house sessions in a dispute over an alleged case of corruption linked
to an abandoned plan to build a casino in the Muslim country. The Islamic
Action Front, the largest opposition party in the kingdom, said Bakhit and
other ministers were involved in the project and demanded the resignation of
the government.

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