Amman: Jordan`s King Abdullah II endorsed a
Cabinet reshuffle on Saturday in the wake of scandals and
resignations that have tainted the country`s prime minister
and ignited calls for his resignation.
The move follows six months of street protests in
Jordan, inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world,
that have pressed for a wider public say in politics, the
lowering of food prices and reduction of inflation rates.
The most significant official to go as part of the
reshuffle was Interior Minister Saad Hayel Srour. He was
replaced by Mazen Saket, seen as a moderate politician who may
be more palatable to the public.
Srour was accused by the protesters of ordering the
police to use excessive force to quell the demonstrations. He
was also widely criticized for allowing businessman Khaled
Shaheen, who was serving a three-year prison term for bribery
and corruption, to leave Jordan.
Abdullah Abu Ruman, a newspaper columnist in charge of
a government office that censors the media, was named
information minister, a move signalling that the government
will continue to control the press.
The reshuffle followed earlier resignations of three
Cabinet members, two of whom stepped down in the wake of a
public outcry over the tycoon Shaheen`s departure from the
country. The third quit over differences with the prime
minister over draft laws he said restrict media freedoms.