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Jordan’s King Abdullah appoints palace aide Bisher al-Khasawneh Prime Minister

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Jordan’s King Abdullah on Wednesday appointed veteran diplomat and palace aide Bisher al Khasawneh as the new prime minister, days after accepting the resignation of Omar al-Razzaz, the royal palace said.

The monarch dissolved parliament on September 27 at the end of its four-year term, a move that under constitutional rules meant the government had to resign within a week.

In a letter of designation, the monarch said he entrusted Khasawneh, who has been a palace advisor since last year after a career mostly spent as a diplomat and peace negotiator with Israel, to form a cabinet of qualified ministers who would rise to the country’s challenges.

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Khasawneh will oversee parliamentary elections due on November 10 whose outcome is expected under an electoral law that marginalizes the Islamist opposition to maintain a majority of pro-government deputies.

Read more:

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

Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood to take part in elections after court dissolved chapter

The country is facing a peak in COVID-19 infections at a time of rising popular discontent over worsening economic conditions and curbs on public freedoms under emergency laws.

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