Jordan ' s King Abdullah II has sworn in a new government amid protests demanding greater political reforms and measures aimed at the improvement of the Arab country’s economy.
On Saturday, the 51-year-old Jordanian leader instated an administration led by Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, and tasked with pushing through austerity measures required under a loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund, Reuters reported. The new government -- the smallest in Jordan in more than four decades -- is comprised of 13 newcomers, including a woman. The key interior ministry changed hands but veteran diplomat Nasser Judeh remains at the helm of the foreign ministry for the sixth time in a row. The cabinet lineup was confirmed after nearly three weeks of unprecedented consultations between the palace and the parliament. Earlier this month, the king reappointed Ensour as his prime minister without consulting the 150-member assembly. "This government was born after consultations with deputies who will be part of the government in the coming months as part of the parliamentary government experience. We want this to succeed in order to boost reform," Ensour told Jordan Television network after reappointment. Jordanians have been holding demonstrations since January 2011, demanding political reforms, including the election of the prime minister by popular vote and an end to corruption. Protesters also accuse the government of failing to take action to improve the country’s struggling economy. Since the demonstrations began, Jordanian ruler King Abdullah II has sacked three prime ministers to appease the protesters.