The Jordanian Cabinet resigned today and King Abdullah will name a prime minister to form a new government amid claims of royal disapproval over the performance of some of his ministers.
Government officials said the strongest candidate to succeed Premier Faisal al-Fayez was Adnan Badran, a former Prime Ministry adviser and an academic who headed a Jordanian university.
The change was expected. Government officials have said the king wanted “new blood” to press ahead with political and economic reforms, saying the outgoing Cabinet has been slow doing so.
Al-Fayez took office in October 2003. He has reshuffled his Cabinet twice since.
Since ascending to the throne in 1999, Abdullah, who has a British mother, has sought to invigorate reforms introduced by his late father, King Hussein.
Hussein’s reforms focused on political liberalisation, mainly reviving a multiparty system banned since a 1956 left wing coup attempt and restoring parliamentary elections after a 22-year hiatus caused by Jordan’s loss of the West Bank to Israel in 1967.
But Abdullah’s plan is mainly economy-oriented, aimed at building on political achievements since 1989. A computer and internet enthusiast, Abdullah wants to make Jordan a regional information technology hub. He also wants to see his nation geared toward open-market economy and globalisation and has introduced relevant legislation in recent years.
His early target was for Jordanians to have access to computers, improved education and health care. But such efforts have often stumbled over bureaucracy in this predominantly conservative Muslim society, which considers such bold goals as alien or imported from the West.