13 Jun 2011

Jordan's king announces concessions

9:44 am on 13 June 2011

King Abdullah of Jordan has bowed to demands for reform, saying future cabinets will be formed according to an elected parliamentary majority.

In a televised speech marking his 12th year as Jordan's ruler, King Abdullah promised to relinquish his right to appoint prime ministers and cabinets.

It is the first time he has made such a concession. But he did not say when exactly this would take place.

The BBC reports that it is believed the king wants to see the current 33 political parties merge into three main political blocs from which cabinets can be formed.

King Abdullah added that more reforms would be announced, including new election and political party laws, but warned that sudden change could lead to ''chaos and unrest'' like in other Arab countries.

Turmoil averted

Jordan has averted the turmoil seen in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.

At the outset of the protests in February, the king sacked the prime minister and set up a national dialogue committee to discuss much needed political and economic reforms.

Protests have been relatively small and generally peaceful.