A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jordan PM Resigns Amid Electoral Law Debate

Jordanian Prime Minister ‘Awn Khasawneh has resigned, after just six months in office; he was appointed in October. He resigned while out of the country, apparently because of a decision to extend the term of Parliament to debate a much-criticized new electoral law. In his resignation letter and the King's response, both men indicated they were firm supporters of electoral reform. The complicated new electoral law has alienated both Islamists in the opposition and democracy activists, and some analyses, such as this short reaction from Marc Lynch, suggest Khasawneh was frustrated by the Royal Court's unwillingness to let him pursue genuine reform. For a critique of the electoral law, see this piece by Curtis Ryan for Foreign Policy from a couple of weeks ago, and also this account from the Jordanian "alternative news" site AmmonNews.

The King has designated Fayez Tarawneh, a veteran figure who served as the late King Hussein's Prime Minister in 1998-99, to replace Khasawneh.

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