Jordan’s king fires government amid protests


(JTA) — Jordan’s King Abdullah II fired the sitting government and named a new prime minister in the wake of opposition protests.

Abdullah on Tuesday named a former prime minister, Marouf al-Bakhit, to retake the post. The king charged Bakhit, who served briefly as an ambassador to Israel, with carrying out  "true political reforms," according to a statement released by the palace, media outlets reported.

"Bakhit’s mission is to take practical, quick and tangible steps to launch true political reforms, enhance Jordan’s democratic drive and ensure safe and decent living for all Jordanians," the statement reportedly said.

Bakhit was prime minister from 2005 to 2007. He replaces Samir Rifai, who had been prime minister since December 2009.

Demonstrations in recent weeks in Jordan have called for lowering food prices and better living conditions. They have been spurred on by demonstrations in other countries in the Arab world, including mass protests in Tunisia and now in Egypt. 

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