Jordan’s King Abdullah II today appointed a New Prime Minister, the royal palace said, naming a leading reformer as head of government, in hopes of quelling the largest anti-government protests in recent years.
Cabinet member Omar Razzaz, a Harvard-educated former senior World Bank official, replaced Hani Mulki, who quit yesterday amid widening protests against his government’s austerity program, including a planned tax increase. Mr Razzaz served as education minister in the outgoing Mulki government.
In the appointment letter addressed to Mr Razzaz, the monarch called on the new government to conduct a comprehensive review of the tax system and produce a new tax bill, in cooperation with parliament, unions and other groups.
Meanwhile, protests continued even after Mulki’s resignation. Protest organizers said, they would keep up the pressure, including a one-day strike set for tomorrow until the tax proposal has been shelved.