No replacement was announced on Thursday, but a minor cabinet reshuffle is expected soon.

Awadallah, who became finance minister in April, had come under strong criticism from legislators who accused him of being out of touch with poverty and unemployment in Jordan, in particular the circumstances in the Palestinian refugee
camps and beduin areas.

One lawmaker, Mamdouh Abbadi, accused the minister last month of having spent money without parliamentary authority in his previous portfolio of minister of planning and cooperation.

Resignation letter

In his resignation letter, Awadallah told the king he had been "targeted by words and arrows from all sides" by people who failed to see the value of the reform process he was trying to implement.

King Abdullah II wrote in reply that Awadallah's resignation was part of the sacrifice that Jordan was making in the name of reform.

The king has mandated the cabinet of Prime Minister Adnan Badran to pursue economic reform, including privatisation and encouragement of foreign investment.

"Awadallah gave a lot to Jordan and he will continue to do so in any position he occupies," the king wrote in his letter.

The reshuffle is expected to bring two or three people from southern Jordan into the cabinet.

Legislators have criticised the existing cabinet for excluding representatives of the relatively impoverished south.