Daily Israel Report

Jordan's King Reappoints Prime Minister

King Abdullah II of Jordan reappointed Abdullah Nsur as premier after talks between his chief of staff and parliamentarians.
First Publish: 3/10/2013, 6:29 AM

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur
Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur
AFP photo

King Abdullah II of Jordan reappointed Abdullah Nsur as premier on Saturday and tasked him with forming the new government after talks between his chief of staff and parliamentarians, the royal palace said.

"The king has accepted the resignation of the (previous) government and charged Abdullah Nsur to form a new government," the palace said, according to AFP.

On January 29 Nsur tendered the resignation of his government following parliamentary elections which were boycotted by Islamists, the main opposition force.

King Abdullah had then instructed his chief of staff, Fayez Tarawneh, to conduct consultations with members of parliament to appoint a new premier, in what was a new mechanism to involve the assembly in choosing the head of the government.

On Saturday the palace said the king had received "a comprehensive report on the consultations conducted by Tarawneh with members of the assembly," according to AFP.

Parliamentary sources told AFP that Nsur and Interior Minister Awad Khlifat were the frontrunners chosen by MPs for the post of prime minister.

The parliamentary elections were won by people close to the regime, businessmen and tribal leaders, as the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood boycotted them.

The Arab Spring that has toppled four regimes across the region also sparked regular protests in Jordan, where a combination of youths and Islamists have been demanding sweeping reforms.

Their protests have become increasingly vocal and, during deadly November rioting over a sharp hike in fuel prices, there were unprecedented calls for the king to step down. King Abdullah has managed to weather the street protests, partially by curtailing his absolute powers.

Abdullah, whose throne is not thought to be under threat, had touted the election as a focal point for his reforms, which he said should pave the way for parliamentary government.

He said his reform plans include consulting MPs before naming a premier, who should in turn then consult with MPs before forming a cabinet.

The Muslim Brotherhood, however, boycotted the election, saying the monarch's measures fell far short of true democratic change and that he should not have any say in naming a prime minister.

The king has indicated that being in power was never for the sake of control and brings “no gain” for his ruling Hashemite family.

He said his goal was to stimulate reform away from “negative” political power struggle, in reference to the mass protests led by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Before the vote in January, Jordanians said they were skeptical that a new parliament would bring about the desired reforms.