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King sends letter to Mulki after accepting his resignation

Protests continue despite resignation

By JT - Jun 05,2018 - Last updated at Jun 05,2018

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday accepted the resignation of Hani Mulki’s Cabinet.

King Abdullah sent a letter to Mulki in reply to his letter of resignation.

 

Following is the official English translation of His Majesty’s letter:

“Your Excellency Dr Hani Mulki,

Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you,

I am pleased to convey to you and your colleague ministers my greetings and appreciation for your efforts in serving our beloved Jordan.

I have received your letter of resignation as prime minister, in which you expressed deep loyalty to the homeland, and your commitment to upholding your responsibilities and duties.

I express my deep appreciation to you and your Cabinet colleagues for your dedication and commitment to your duties and responsibilities, bravely taking difficult decisions that were not popular but were in the higher interest of the nation. You have endured a tremendous burden for the sake of the homeland and citizens, especially amidst these difficult conditions, which have brought major challenges before us all.

The challenges surrounding our beloved Jordan are unprecedented in their complexity, multitude, and sprawling impact. They include regional challenges directly at our borders, and extend well beyond them. 

This nation has never shied away from resolutely and persistently taking on challenges at the political, security, social, and economic levels. Therefore, we have become a model and an example of stability, integrity, and moderation, maintaining strong and balanced Arab, Islamic, and international relations without falling into unacceptable, polarised alliances.

However, unrelenting developments over several years have directly impacted economic and fiscal conditions, leading to increasing pressure on the Treasury and the commercial and investment sectors, which have affected growth rates. With the state forced to increase spending to shoulder responsibilities on behalf of the international community, our Treasury and citizens have suffered from funding shortfalls and hikes in the prices of many items and basic commodities. This has had a direct impact on citizens’ standards of living and their livelihoods. These developments came in parallel to a sharp drop in [foreign] aid, which had previously enabled our country to ensure regional security and serve brotherly refugees who have fled to this free, brave land.

You, along with your ministerial team, have exerted your utmost efforts to counter the accumulating financial deficits by persistently pressing ahead with comprehensive reform and seeking alternatives. The situation remains critical and requires everyone’s awareness and caution.

As I accept your and your Cabinet’s resignations, I entrust this government to continue as caretaker until a new Cabinet is formed. And I reaffirm my appreciation of you and your fellow ministers for all your efforts in service of your homeland. You will always be worthy of our trust and held in the highest esteem. I pray that God Almighty protects you all and justly rewards you for your efforts.

 

Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you

 

In his resignation letter, Mulki outlined his government’s achievements since his designation as prime minister in May 2016, stressing that the government put national interests above all else.

The outgoing premier listed the parliamentary, governorate council, and municipal elections as major political reform steps overseen by his government, highlighting measures to combat corruption and enhance the public sector as efforts towards administrative reform.

Mulki said his government also worked to improve public services and infrastructure, while bolstering the social safety net.

He pointed to the economic and fiscal correction programme overseen by his government, which improved the economy and stabilised the debt’s ratio to the gross domestic product, also citing efforts to stimulate economic growth.

Mulki noted that the income tax draft law his Cabinet sent to Parliament is based on a progressive formula that ensures fair taxation and combats evasion while protecting the middle class and lower income brackets.

However, the draft law was not met with public approval, the outgoing prime minister said in his resignation letter, expressing respect for all opinions voiced responsibly by Jordanians.

Out of commitment to the nation’s interest, Mulki said he has tendered his resignation.

 

Protests continue

 

The resignation came amid nationwide protests that have been ongoing since Thursday, following a strike led by the professional associations.

Protesters gathered near the Prime Ministry despite the resignation of the government. They raised demands to revisit the Sales Tax Law, reduce fuel prices and electricity, reinstal bread subsidy, hold trials for the corrupt, withdraw the income tax bill and form a “national salvation government”.

President of the Professional Associations Council Ali Obous was quoted in local reports as saying that the planned second strike on Wednesday is linked to cancelling the amended income tax draft law, adding that the council will meet before the set date to take a final decision, depending on developments. 

Despite wide speculations that outgoing Minister of Education Omar Razzaz would replace Mulki, officials did not confirm the reports. 

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