Jordan’s King accepts resignation of PM Omar al-Razzaz

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Jordan’s King Abdullah on Saturday accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz and asked him to stay on as a caretaker premier until he designates a successor, state media said.

The monarch dissolved parliament last Sunday at the end of its four-year term in a move that under constitutional rules meant the government must resign within a week.

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King Abdullah appointed al-Razzaz in the summer of 2018 to defuse the biggest protests in years over tax increases pushed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce Jordan’s large public debt.

Constitutionally, most powers rest with the king, who appoints governments and approves legislation.

A new government will pave the way for the November vote, as the country grapples with the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections over the last month that the last government had been widely criticized for.

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The monarch hopes a wider shake-up and a new assembly could ease popular disenchantment over economic hardships worsened by the blow of COVID-19 and limits on civil and political freedoms under emergency laws.

Jordan’s economy is expected to shrink by 6 percent this year as it tackles its worst economic crisis in many years, with unemployment and poverty aggravated by the pandemic.

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