Posts Tagged ‘ Jordanian Government ’

Jordan interior, foreign ministers unseated in reshuffle

Sunday 15 January 2017

Jordan’s interior minister lost his job Sunday after criticism following a deadly attack, in a government reshuffle that also saw long-serving foreign minister Nasser Judeh cast aside.

Ten people including a Canadian were shot dead at the popular Jordanian tourist destination of Karak on 18 December, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

Following the attack, some 50 lawmakers called for a motion to censure interior minister Salama Hammad.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Hani Mulqi said in a statement from the royal palace that Hammad was being replaced by Ghaleb Zohbi, a lawyer who had previously held the same post.

The same statement announced that Judeh, who had served as foreign minister since 2009, was making way for Ayman Safadi, formerly an adviser to the king and deputy prime minister.

It did not say why the ministers were being replaced. It is the second reshuffle since 28 September.

Last month’s attack in Karak, home to one of the region’s biggest Crusader castles, killed seven policemen, two Jordanian civilians and a female Canadian tourist.

Four assailants were killed by the security forces after an hours-long siege of the castle, where the suspects had fled to after opening fire on police.

IS claimed responsibility on 20 December, saying four “soldiers of the caliphate” used machineguns and hand grenades in the attack.

Jordan is part of the US-led military coalition against IS and has carried out air strikes targeting the extremist group.

It also hosts coalition troops on its territory.

The kingdom was hit by four attacks last year, including a suicide attack in June that killed seven guards near the border with Syria that was also claimed by IS.

Source: Middle East Eye.


Cabinet Holds Emergency Meeting Over ‘Municipalities’ Riots


AMMONNEWS – Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit on Wednesday evening called for an emergency meeting for the cabinet and security chiefs to discuss the riots and chaos that took place on Wednesday in several places in the kingdom against the Municipal Elections.

Ammon News learned that Bakhit and Minister of Interior Mazen Saket called for the emergency meeting at the Prime Ministry to deliberate on means of dealing with the various protests taking place demanding mergers or disengagement of local municipalities.

Local residents on Wednesday had blocked the main Queen Alia International Airport highway and main desert highway leading to Aqaba and southern governorates in protest of the municipal decisions.

The riots witnessed fired gunshots, vandalism of passing vehicles, burning rubber tires, and hurling rocks.

The international road leading to Aqaba remained blocked from Al Jiza district and in several other locations, including Al Damakhi, Muwaqqar, and Zamileh.

Several governorates throughout the kingdom had also witnessed protests throughout the week with local residents calling for establishing new municipalities for their respective districts.

Source: Ammon News.


Jordan’s king swears in 13 new Cabinet ministers

August 21, 2013

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The royal palace says Jordan’s King Abdullah II has sworn in 13 new Cabinet ministers, enlarging the government as part of promised reforms.

The long expected reshuffle is the first since Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour took office on March 30 following parliamentary elections hailed as the centerpiece of palace-led reforms.

Wednesday’s change excluded major posts, including foreign affairs, interior and finance.

It brought in two women, raising their number to three.

The palace said multiple portfolios held by serving ministers were divided among the newcomers.

The Cabinet now has 27 ministers, including Ensour, who also serves as defense minister.

Abdullah’s reforms come amid the violent upheavals brought by the Arab Spring, which toppled four longtime leaders.

The Jordanian reforms also allowed for public assembly and dissent — previously outlawed acts.



Two ministers relinquish foreign citizenship

Oct 04, 2011

AMMAN (JT) – Two Cabinet members applied to relinquish their non-Jordanian nationalities at the concerned embassies, a government official said.

Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications and Government Spokesperson Abdullah Abu Rumman said the step taken by Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Najjar and Minister of Culture Jeryes Samawi on Monday “was made to abide by the [new] Constitution, which prohibits Jordanians who have another nationality from holding ministerial posts”, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

Under the amendments made to Article 75 of the Constitution, which went into effect Saturday, “no person can become a deputy, senator, minister or a high-ranking official if he/she holds dual nationality”.

In a press conference yesterday, Abu Rumman said Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit has informed all ministers who hold dual nationalities to rectify their statuses according to the Constitution, Petra reported.

Senator Talal Abu Ghazaleh was the first to resign his seat as he holds Bahraini citizenship, along with his Jordanian nationality.

Source: The Jordan Times.


Jordan rejects govt.-proposed reforms

Fri Sep 9, 2011

Anti-government protesters have poured into the streets of the Jordanian capital, Amman, to reject constitutional reforms proposed by the government.

Protesters say the amendments proposed by the Royal Commission do not meet their demanded reforms. Jordanian lawmakers are currently debating the proposed constitutional reforms.

The proposed reforms include the creation of an independent commission to oversee elections, lowering the age of candidates for parliament from 35 to 25 and limiting the jurisdiction of the military state security court.

But the opposition has described the proposed amendments as insufficient, saying they do not meet their key demands for a new electoral law and an elected prime minister.

“We rejected these amendments and we will never admit them as a constitution as long as it does not address the essence of the crisis,” said protester Ali Abu Sukar.

Protesters also demanded Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit’s resignation, an end to government corruption and the dissolution of parliament.

Smaller demonstrations were also reported in other parts of Jordan.

Jordan has faced anti-government rallies demanding reforms and an end to corruption since January.

In June, in a bid to appease protesters, King Abdullah II announced some concessions, including the formation of future governments that were based on an elected parliamentary majority rather than one appointed by the monarch.

However, he later said it may take two to three years to put an elected government in place.

Source: PressTV.

Jordanians call for ouster of PM Bakhit

Jul 8, 2011

AMMAN: Jordanians demonstrated on Friday for the fifth week in a row in several cities calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit’s government, the dissolution of the lower house of parliament and taking serious moves to punish corrupt officials, witnesses said.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets after Friday prayers in the city of Tafileh, 180 km south of Amman, to press their demand for Bakhit’s ouster.

They issued a statement rejecting last week’s reshuffle of Bakhit’s cabinet as a fresh evidence of the government’s “weak will” to carry out the needed political reforms and a move designed to “kill the public mobility.”

“The decision-makers have to stop their procrastination, piracy and the cover-up they provide for corrupts,” the statement said.

In the reshuffle, Bakhit appointed nine new ministers, including replacements for the ministers of the Interior, Justice and Health who resigned in connection with the fleeing of the convicted tycoon Khalid Shahin.

Shahin, who was serving a three-year jail term when he fled to London on Feb. 25, is now in Frankfurt under the pretext of seeking medical treatment that he says he could not find locally.

Jordanian authorities said they were in contact with the German government seeking to ensure Shahin’s extradition to Jordan.

Scores of activists demonstrated for the first time in the city of Mafraq, 50 km east of Amman, urging King Abdallah to sack the cabinet and dissolve the House of Representatives. They also called for Bakhit’s trial over his role in the so-called 2007 casino deal, when his government then allowed a London-based investor to build a casino on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea.

Samir Rifai, who succeeded Bakhit as premier, sought to annul the agreement in 2008, contending that it harmed Jordan’s interests and involved taboos because Islamic teachings prohibit gambling.

The lower house voted recently to clear Bakhit of wrongdoings, but implicated former Tourism Minister Osama Dabbas.

Source: Arab News.

Ministry taking measures to ensure enough food supplies during Ramadan

By Omar Obeidat

AMMAN –– As the holy fasting month of Ramadan will coincide this year with the return of Jordanian expatriates and the tourism high season, the government has started early preparations to ensure food items are available to meet the expected rise in demand.

At a meeting with traders, importers and the Consumer Protection Society, Industry and Trade Minister Hani Mulki stressed that the ministry will take necessary measures to ensure that the supply of basic food commodities during the fasting month meet increasing demand.

The ministry will also take measures to avoid any unjustified rise in food prices, which historically see hikes during the month.

“This year’s Ramadan is different from previous years because it will coincide with the return of Jordanians abroad who will come to spend their holidays in the Kingdom and we also expect the number of Arab tourists to increase significantly in summer,” Mulki said.

More than half a million Jordanians are estimated to be living in the Gulf region, many of whom expected to spend the summer holiday back home.

According to official figures, demand on essential food commodities during the holy month of Ramadan rises by 25-40 per cent, which experts attribute to change of consumption behavior.

Citing ministry figures showing that local production of wheat, barley and vegetables will be enough to cover consumption, the minister expected the prices of food items to remain stable or even go down during the month.

In addition, he said, the government will facilitate importing procedures for the private sector to bring large quantities of foodstuff.

Mulki warned that the ministry could resort to setting a price ceiling in case unreasonably high prices prevail.

Meanwhile, he remarked that authorities will not halt food and vegetable exports to regional and international markets.

The minister rejected as baseless media reports that the government plans to reduce sales tax on certain commodities, saying such reports push importers and traders to be reluctant to bring basic food items into the local market, which he said will affect the strategic storage of these commodities.

Khalil Haj Tawfiq, an importer of foodstuff and a member of Jordan Chamber of Commerce, said importers have asked the government to exempt food products and vegetables from the sales tax in a bid to bring prices down.

Mulki replied that although the state budget is suffering a relatively high deficit, the government is studying such an option to alleviate financial burdens on citizens but a decision in this regard might be included in next year’s budget.

Also attending the meeting were directors of the civil and military consumer corporations who indicated that the corporations have signed deals with suppliers to make sure they have enough stocks of sugar, rice, cooking oil and chicken among others, to meet local needs “even three months after Ramadan”.

10 June 2011

Source: The Jordan Times.

Egypt resumes gas supplies to Jordan, minister says

Sun, 12 June 2011

AMMAN — Egypt has resumed its gas exports to Jordan after a 45-day stoppage due to an attack on a pipeline near the Sinai town of Al Arish, said Energy Minister Khalid Touqan. Since the April 27 blast, Jordan has been forced to incur extra costs associated with using heavy fuel to run its electricity generating plants.

Under an agreement signed in 2001, Jordan receives gas supplies from Egypt through the so-called Arab gas pipeline, which travels northward to supply Syria and Lebanon and, later, Turkey. Over the past few weeks, Jordan and Egypt have conducted negotiations that could lead to a revision of prices for gas supplied to Amman by Cairo.

Egypt’s military rulers have decided that gas prices should be in line with oil prices. — DPA

Source: Oman Observer.

Govt Stabilizes Fuel Prices, Endorses Teachers’ Association Draft Law


AMMONNEWS – The cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft law to establish a teachers’ professional association, and decided to stabilize fuel prices for next month.

In its session headed by Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit on Tuesday, the cabinet endorsed the teachers’ professional association draft law in preparation to refer it to the Lower House of Parliament for endorsement during its extraordinary session expected to be held next month.

Also on Tuesday, the Oil Derivatives Pricing Committee in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources decided to stabilize 90 and 95 Octane gas prices, in addition to steady prices of Kerosene and residential propane gas for the time period between June 1st, 2011 until June 28, 2011.

Source: Ammon News.

Jordan opposition calls for government’s resignation

May 31, 2011

AMMAN: Jordan’s main opposition party, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), and the country’s strongest pro-democracy coalition on Monday urged the resignation of Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit’s government for its failure to adopt the needed reforms.

“The way out of the deep crisis we experience lies in the formation of a national reform government, to be led by a national personality which believes in reforms and adopts a program with clear objectives, including the adoption of real, political and constitutional reforms,” the IAF said in a statement.

The IAF, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, considered last week’s resignation of two Cabinet ministers indicative of Bakhit’s failure to fight corruption and “the unprecedented political, economic and social crisis Jordan is grappling with.”

Bakhit said that the Justice Minister Hussein Megalli and Health Minister Yassin Hosban resigned on Thursday to concede responsibility for the ”mistakes” committed in their ministries that enabled the convicted businessman Khalid Shahin to flee from the country on Feb. 25.

In his resignation letter to the prime minister, Megalli said that he had decided to resign because he found the “path of reforms deadlocked.”

Local media on Monday expected more cabinet ministers to quit in connection with Shahin’s affair that dominated the thinking of the Jordanian public opinion over the past three months.

Shahin was serving a three-year jail term after the State Security Court found him guilty of bribery in his bid to obtain a 1.2-billion-dollar contract for the expansion of the country’s sole refinery.

The call for Bakhit’s resignation also came on Monday from the March 24 Youth group, which has set July 14 a date for a marathon rally to protest the failure to adopt the required political and constitutional reforms in the country, including an independent judiciary.

“We hereby promise our people that we will not back down in our struggle to accomplish radical reforms and disclose all corruption files and ensure punishment of those involved,” the gathering said in a strongly-worded statement.

Source: Arab News.