Jordan's King Abdullah II designated Awn al-Khasawneh, a well known international judge as his prime minister Monday, a royal palace statement said, replacing a premier who ran afoul of reformers. The king instructed the new premier to swiftly open dialogue with opposition figures who have grown disgruntled with the pace of reform. ( See Related News)
International Judge Named Jordan's Prime Minister :
Jordan's King Abdullah appointed Awn al-Khasawneh, a former judge at the International Court of Justice, as prime minister in order to promote public confidence in a reform process that has been hit by several instances of violence and government failings.
Al Arabiya correspondence, Saad Silawi conducted an exclusive interview with New Jordanian Prime Minister.
JORDAN’s REFORMIST KING
BBC News: Jordan political reforms backed by King Abdullah 15 Aug 2011:King Abdullah of Jordan has given his backing to limited constitutional reforms which aim to address continuing protests in the country. Since January actvists, inspired by events elsewhere in the Middle East, have called for political and economic changes. Jonathan Josephs reports.
Jordanians Protest for Greater Reforms :Protesters in Jordan gathered in the center of the capital, Amman on Friday, to call for crucial reforms which they say are long overdue.
Hundreds of Islamists and leftist groups waved the national flag and shouted various slogans against corruption in front of al-Hussein mosque.
Unlike uprisings sweeping countries of the Arab Spring, Jordan has experienced minimal unrest, but reforms promised by King Abdullah have done little to calm the public's growing frustration against the ruling administration.
King Abdullah Meets Tribal chiefs across the Kingdom:
Mohammed Saleh, Jordan: I like my king! (Dubai Debates):
Mohammed Saleh, student at the American University in Dubai, with his take on the current edition of DubaiDebates.com, talks about Jordan and the positive effect legitimate criticism can have.
Jordan's king names judge as new prime minister by Jamal Halabi (AP)
AMMAN, Jordan(AP) — Jordan's King Abdullah II designated a well known international judge ashis prime minister Monday, a royal palace statement said, replacing a premierwho ran afoul of reformers.
The king instructed the new premier to swiftly open dialogue with opposition figures who have grown disgruntled with the pace of reform.
The appointment of Awn al-Khasawneh, a deputy chief of the Hague-based International Court of Justice, reinforces Abdullah's stated intentions of instituting reforms. The measures could include decentralization, fighting corruption, giving more independence to parliament and inviting the opposition into the government.
Al-Khasawneh,61, a liberal, has cordial ties with the opposition, including Jordan's powerful Muslim Brotherhood.
"We were hoping that the Cabinet would be sacked, and we wish the prime minister-designate success in serving Jordan and its people," said Brotherhood spokesman Jamil Abu-Bakr.
Al-Khasawneh succeeds Marouf al-Bakhit, 64, who resigned earlier in the day after a majority of 70 out of 120 parliamentarians called for his ouster.
"The prime minister-designate has a clean slate domestically and internationally," said Amjad Adaileh, an adviser to the king.
Underal-Bakhit, dialogue with the Islamist opposition and their leftist allies has "reached a dead end," he added.
Al-Bakhitis a tough ex-army general who was widely seen as dragging his feet in implementing reforms. He was also accused of corruption during his earlier 2005-2007 tenure as prime minister.
Recently the king said he was frustrated with the pace of reform.
Al-Khasawneh— who served as a chief adviser to Abdullah's late father, King Hussein — is set to form his Cabinet ahead of a 3-day special meeting of the World Economic Forum, which opens in Jordan onFriday.
Al-Khasawneh has a reputation as a clean politician and is a noted legal expert.
Abdullah told al-Khasawneh to launch an "effective and constructive dialogue with all political groups," according to a designation letter obtained from the Royal Palace.
The king said priority should be given to changing the parliamentary election law. The Islamist opposition claims it was designed to undercut its influence through disproportionate distribution of seats, giving the king's loyalists a majority and producing docile parliaments.
Abdullah called for an independent council to supervise upcoming parliamentary elections and a constitutional court to review laws.
He also demanded a "resolute" government stance against corruption.
Later Monday, Abdullah named Maj. Gen. Faisal Shobaki as the country's intelligence chief, replacing Gen. Mohammed Raqqad, who held the post since 2008.
Pro-reform activists accused Raqqad of trying to intimidate them from staging protests.
Shobaki served in Jordan's intelligence for more than two decades before becoming ambassador to Senegal and later Morocco.
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