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Jordan's King Dismisses Govt. After Weeks of Public Protests

King Abdullah II of Jordan (file photo)
King Abdullah II of Jordan (file photo)

Jordan's King Abdullah has dismissed his government following weeks of public protests for political change, and he has appointed a former general to form a new Cabinet.

King Abdullah's move is a response to street protests by thousands of Jordanians demanding the resignation of a government they blame for rising fuel and food prices and slow political reforms. The protesters have drawn inspiration from huge protests against authoritarian rulers in Egypt and Tunisia in recent weeks.

A Jordanian palace statement says the government of Prime Minister Samir Rifai resigned Tuesday. It says King Abdullah designated former general and former prime minister Marouf al-Bakhit to form a Cabinet whose mission is to take "practical and swift" steps to launch what it calls "true political reforms."

The palace says King Abdullah also wants his new government to bolster democracy and ensure a dignified life for all Jordanians.

Jordan's influential Islamic Action Front opposition group told the French news agency, AFP, Monday that it had started a dialogue with the government on implementing such reforms.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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