Jordan swears in new government

Officials said ex-central banker Umayya Toukan was appointed as finance minister in a cabinet lineup that includes moderates and technocrats to widen its national appeal.

Awn Khasawneh (C) accompanies Jordan's King Hussein and Jordan's Prince Hamzeh in Amman in this file photo taken in 1993.(Reuters)

Awn Khasawneh (C) accompanies Jordan's King Hussein and Jordan's Prince Hamzeh in Amman in this file photo taken in 1993.(Reuters)

Jordan’s U.S.-backed King Abdullah swore in on Monday a reform-minded government charged with speeding up political liberalisation in response to domestic pressure for change after protests inspired by popular uprisings in the Arab world.

Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh, a former international jurist at the Hague-based International Court of Justice, was appointed last week to replace conservative ex-general Marouf al-Bakhit, who had been widely criticised for inept handling of the domestic crisis.

Ex-central banker Umayya Toukan was appointed as finance minister in a move officials said aimed to allay investor concerns over soaring public spending that has threatened Jordan’s fiscal and monetary stability.

The new cabinet lineup also includes moderates, tribal politicians and technocrats to widen its national appeal.

Abdullah told Khasawneh last week that his cabinet’s mission was to accelerate reforms that the outgoing cabinet had been slow in pushing through.

 

Reuters

24 October 2011 Monday