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10:31, 20 June 2018 Wednesday
16:42, 14 June 2018 Thursday

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New Jordan PM sworn in as king approves cabinet lineup
New Jordan PM sworn in as king approves cabinet lineup

Move follows resignation of PM Hani al-Mulki amid protests against controversial tax bill

World Bulletin / News Desk

Newly-appointed Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz was sworn in on Thursday in the presence of Jordanian King Abdullah II. 

The king also approved a proposed cabinet lineup consisting of 29 government ministers, including the prime minister (who also holds the defense portfolio). 

At least 15 of the ministers had been members of former Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki's government, which resigned en masse earlier this month. 

Al-Razzaz’s new government includes seven women (three of whom served under al-Mulki and four of whom are serving for the first time), including the information minister. 

Late last month, the Hashemite Kingdom was rocked by a wave of protests against worsening economic conditions and an unpopular income tax bill. 

The protests had forced al-Mulki -- along with the rest of his government -- to step down on June 4, after which King Abdullah tasked Education Minister Omar al-Razzaz to draw up a new cabinet. 

Amman recently raised subsidized electricity prices for the fifth time this year, leading to further popular discontent.

It also announced increases in subsidized fuel prices before swiftly reversing the move following a popular backlash. 

According to official data, Jordan's 2018 state budget will carry a deficit of some $1.75 billion.

 


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