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Jordan's PM Resigns Six Months After Taking Office

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has accepted the resignation of his Prime Minister, Awn Khasawneh.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 4/27/2012, 12:12 AM

Awn Al-Khasawneh
Awn Al-Khasawneh
Reuters

Jordan’s King Abdullah II accepted the resignation of his Prime Minister, Awn Khasawneh, on Thursday, the Al-Arabiya network reported.

The report said that the King has asked ex-premier Fayez al-Tarawneh to form the new government.

Khasawneh’s resignation comes barely six months after he formed a government to bring in much-needed reforms.

Khasawneh, 62, an International Court of Justice judge, formed his cabinet in October and won a comfortable vote of confidence for his government from parliament in December after pledging to push ahead with reforms.

Jordanians have been demonstrating since January of last year, demanding sweeping political and economic reforms as well as an end to corruption.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has promised Jordanians some reforms, including a “future” government that will be elected instead of appointed by the king. The king appoints his cabinet ministers and can dissolve parliament, which is elected by the people. Those reforms have been slow in being implemented.

Al-Arabiya reported that Khasawneh’s proposed election law drew criticism, including from tribal parliamentarians and the powerful intelligence services, who felt it favored Islamist politicians.

Khasawneh was a former chief of the royal court and a legal advisor to the Jordanian team that negotiated a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, the report noted.

Tarawneh is also a former chief of the royal court, foreign minister, and ambassador to the U.S. He headed the Jordanian delegation to the negotiations with Israel that led to the peace agreement in 1994.