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Middle East
Jordan's prime minister resigns
King Abdullah II accepts Awn Al-Khasawneh's resignation and names Fayez al-Tarawneh as the new premier.
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2012 18:34
Al-Khasawneh will be replaced by Fayez al-Tarawneh [AFP]

Awn Al-Khasawneh, Jordan's prime minister, has resigned during an official visit to Turkey and will be replaced by Fayez al-Tarawneh.

Khasawneh quit on Thursday and King Abdullah II, who appointed him last October to placate protesters inspired by uprisings across the Arab world, accepted his resignation.

The resignation brings to three the number of prime ministers who have either quit or been fired since protests broke out in January 2011.

There was no immediate explanation for the quitting of Khasawneh, a former judge of the International Court of Justice.

Tarawneh, a US-educated economist, held the same position for several months from 1998 to 1999, when Abdullah came to the throne following the death of his father, King Hussein.

Khasawneh, 62, had pledged to restore trust in the government after months of protests over rising living costs and stalled political reforms in the resource-poor, pro-Western kingdom of seven million.

He took office pledging to speed up reforms needed to hold parliamentary elections and give more political say to Jordanians.

But his proposed election law drew criticism, including from tribal parliamentarians and the powerful intelligence services, who felt it favoured Islamist politicians.

Adnan Al Hayajneh, a professor of political science at the Hashemite University in Amman, told Al Jazeera the king and his prime minister have disagreed on political reforms.

"I think there is a difference between the king's and prime minister's approach regarding political reforms and the pace of political reform," he said.

"I think the king promised the Jordanian public on many occasions - and he repeated this in his speech to the European parliament - that elections will be held before the end of this year.

"It seems to the king the prime minister is not capable of achieving that."

A minister who declined to be named said Khasawneh took the unusual step of submitting his resignation while outside the country in response to a decision to extend a parliamentary session in which he was likely to face further criticism.

"It was a surprise move. The prime minister was unhappy about the decision to extend parliament," the minister said.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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