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Jordan's PM to Form New Cabinet - 2003-07-20

Jordan's King Abdullah has asked his prime minister to form a new government following parliamentary elections held in mid-June. The Jordanian monarch asked Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb to stay on and form a new cabinet, after he submitted his resignation. It is traditional for a serving government to resign following an election.

New Jordanian lawmakers were elected June 17.

The departing 26-member cabinet's mandate ran out on election day when it supervised a parliamentary poll for the first time in six years.

Mr. Abu Ragheb's outgoing government was formed three years ago. During that time he re-organized his cabinet five times.

Mr. Abu Ragheb is not a member of the 110-seat Chamber of Deputies, which met last week for the first time since King Abdullah dissolved the previous legislature in June 2001.

Jordan's press has speculated that Mr. Abu Ragheb may add new cabinet posts or separate existing positions.