2 Feb 2011

Jordan's king names new prime minister

9:14 am on 2 February 2011

In Jordan, King Abdullah has dismissed his government and ordered the new prime minister, Marouf Bakhit to carry out political reforms.

The move follows protests in January, in which demonstrators demanded action on unemployment and rising prices and the right to elect the prime minister, the BBC reports.

However the country's powerful Islamist opposition movement, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), said it did not welcome the appointment of Marouf Bakhit as new prime minister.

Protesters had blamed the former prime minister Samir Rifai for the country's economic problems and had called on him to stand down, the BBC reports.

Mr Bakhit, a retired army major-general, served as Jordan's prime minister from 2005 until his resignation in 2007.

Before then he served as the kingdom's national security adviser and its ambassador to Israel.