Jordan’s King Abdullah Struggles to Stay Ahead of Muslim Brotherhood – Fires Cabinet

Will President Barack Obama lose American allies in both Egypt and Jordan?
It’s not yet clear.

An Islamist woman from an opposition party takes part in a demonstration outside the parliament in Amman January 16, 2011. The protest was against the government economic policy, which the protestors blame for worsening economic conditions. The demonstration, which included around 1000 people, was spearheaded by the Islamist movement and left-leaning political parties. (REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)

King Abdullah struggled to stay ahead of the Muslim Brotherhood today by firing his entire cabinet the day before mass protests are planned in Jordan.
The AP reported:

Jordan’s King Abdullah II fired his government Tuesday in the wake of street protests and asked an ex-prime minister to form a new Cabinet, ordering him to launch immediate political reforms.

The dismissal follows several large protests across Jordan- inspired by similar demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt – calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai, who is blamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slowed political reforms.

A Royal Palace statement said Abdullah accepted Rifai’s resignation tendered earlier Tuesday.

The king named Marouf al-Bakhit as his prime minister-designate, instructing him to “undertake quick and tangible steps for real political reforms, which reflect our vision for comprehensive modernization and development in Jordan,” the palace statement said.

Al-Bakhit previously served as Jordan’s premier from 2005-2007.

The king also stressed that economic reform was a “necessity to provide a better life for our people, but we won’t be able to attain that without real political reforms, which must increase popular participation in the decision-making.”

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