Jordan's king sacks cabinet, appoints jurist as new PM

By REUTERS
October 17, 2011 13:48

King Abdullah ousts Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit in favor of international jurist Awn Khaswaneh.

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Jordan's King Abdullah in Moscow, April 2011.

King Abdullah_311 reuters. (photo credit: Alexander Natruskin / Reuters)

AMMAN - Jordan's King Abdullah has sacked Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit, a conservative former army general and asked Awn Khaswaneh, an international jurist, to head a new government, a senior political source said on Monday.

Abdullah asked Awn Khasawneh, 61, who has been a member of the International Court of Justice since 2000, was a former chief of the royal court and a legal adviser to Jordan's team that negotiated the peace treaty with Israel in 1994.

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Bakhit's government, which came to power in February after King Abdullah sacked an unpopular prime minister after pro-reform street protests inspired by Arab uprisings, has been criticized for its inept handling of domestic problems, including preparations for municipal elections that were to be held later this year.

The move also includes a shakeup of the powerful mukhabarat intelligence agency, whose head Mohammed al Raqqad, has been replaced by Faisal al-Shobaki, a long time operative drawn from the ranks of the agency.


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