King Abdullah II of Jordan (pictured) has ushered in an almost completely new cabinet replacing former Prime Minister Awn al-Khasawneh with now 62 year old Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh. This move follows an abrupt resignation by al-Khasawneh last Thursday as the push for political reforms, supported by the monarchy, stagnated greatly.
The impatient monarch has blamed Awn al-Khasawneh for the lack of progress on creating reform-focused legislation including laws that would change currently controversial laws regarding parliamentary elections and other subjects of importance.
The Jordanian cabinet is now made up of 30 ministers, for the first time including a female minister, journalist Nadia Hashim, who will oversee women’s affairs.
Only two ministers retained their posts, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and Planning Minister Jaafar Hassan while the post of Interior Minister went to Ghaleb Zoubi who is accused of using illegal detentions and torture.
Although Jordanian protests have not reached the fervor similar to those of other protests during Arab Spring and in other parts of the world, public unrest is dangerously simmering kept only in check by the monarchy’s willingness to introduce reform.
Protests are still held almost every day, some of the criticism even comes from a few Bedouin tribes which form a part of the power base for King Abdullah II.
Opponents and critics also slammed the swearing in of the new Jordanian cabinet as “going back” instead of going forward. Critics. including the Muslim Brotherhood, noted that most of the cabinet is filled with bureaucrats or very conservative members
(Cover Photo: Reuters)