Jordanian king pledges ’speedy and real reform’

Sunday, February 20, 2011

AMMAN - Jordanian King Abdullah II pledged to pursue swift and effective reforms Sunday in a rare meeting with personnel of the country’s three branches of government.

“I want speedy and real reform. Barring that, the situation will remain as it was in the past, when those who were assigned the responsibility wasted many opportunities because of their hesitation and fear of change,” the king said.

He also warned officials against hiding behind him and said he would no longer accept ministers blaming their actions on their superiors.

The monarch summoned the meeting following a series of demonstrations that swept the country over the past six weeks, inspired by successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Two weeks ago, Abdullah had dissolved the government of prime minister Samir Rifai and replaced it with a new cabinet led by Marouf Bakhit, a former premier.

Participants in the demonstrations, the last of which was Friday, have voiced loyalty to the country’s Hashemite regime, but also demanded radical political and economic reforms to be implemented and corrupt officials to be tried.

The king said Sunday that he has directed the new government to conduct “comprehensive and transparent dialogue” at all political levels, especially in the area of election law to “enable Jordanians to take part in deciding their future”.

The monarch also said that he has ordered the anti-corruption department to investigate all corruption claims made by citizens.

Filed under: Politics

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