Jordanian king appoints new PM

09:39, December 10, 2009      

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King Abdullah II of Jordan on Wednesday named Samir Rifai as the new prime minister, succeeding prime minister Nader Dahabi, the state-run news agency Petra reported.

Prior to the designation, he assumed the post of Jordan Dubai Capital (JDC) CEO. He was also the minister of the Royal Court in 2003.

Earlier in the day, Jordanian Prime Minister Nader Dahabi submitted his resignation to the Jordanian leader.

Dahabi was named as prime minister in November 2007, chairing a cabinet of 27 ministers. The designation of a new prime minister follows the dissolution of the lower house of parliament late last month and instructions by the King to reform the electoral process and amend the country's election law.

Political analysts said the Dahabi government's resignation was "no surprise", saying it failed in addressing several issues, mainly economic challenges and rocketing budget deficit.

"The government was expected to resign long time ago. It suffered weak performance, mainly in the economic sector, and Jordan under the Dahabi government suffered historic budget deficit," political analyst Samih Maaytah told Xinhua.

Jordan's budget deficit reached 891.7 million Jordanian dinars (about 1.256 billion U.S. dollar) during the first 10 months of 2009 taking foreign assistance into account, surging by 78 percent compared with the same period in 2008, according to official figures.

A poll released earlier this week by the Center for Strategic Studies, affiliated to the state-run University of Jordan, indicated that 52 percent of Jordanians believe that the Dahabi government is capable of shouldering its responsibilities compared with 62 percent of Jordanians in a similar survey carried out by the center 100 days after his government was formed.

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