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King designates Hani Mulki to form gov’t, dissolves House

By JT - May 30,2016 - Last updated at May 30,2016

His Majesty King Abdullah meets with outgoing premier, Abdullah Ensour, and his team in Amman on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday entrusted Hani Mulki to form a new government, succeeding that of Abdullah Ensour, which resigned earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, a Royal Decree was issued on Sunday dissolving the Lower House of Parliament as of Sunday, a Royal Court statement said.

In the letter of designation, King Abdullah underlined that since the Lower House was dissolved after completing its term, the Constitution requires that legislative elections be conducted within a period not exceeding four months. 

“Therefore, it is imperative to provide the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) with all the necessary support and facilitations,” His Majesty told the premier-designate.

He added that such support is necessary to enable the agency to carry out its national duty of administering all stages of the electoral process with integrity and transparency,” he said.

The King also noted that the reform-oriented laws, including the Elections and Decentralisation laws are now in place, which ushers a new era in the democratic process.

The King mandated the government to issue all the necessary by-laws and instructions to implement the Decentralisation Law, including making the necessary arrangements to hold the elections of the governorates’ councils next year.

He directed Mulki and his yet-to-be-formed team to carry out administrative reforms aimed at deepening the rule of law, developing public administration and paving the way for leaders who can bring about positive change.

For its part, the IEC said the decision to hold the next parliamentary elections is among the authorities of the King Abdullah. The commission’s spokesperson Jihad Momani said Sunday that the IEC’s board of commissioners needs only 10 days to announce the date of the elections once a Royal Decree is issued, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Paragraph A of Article 73 of the Constitution states that “If the Chamber of Deputies is dissolved, a general election shall be held, and the new Chamber shall convene in an extraordinary session not later than four months from the date of dissolution.

The new premier, a several-time minister, senator and veteran diplomat, was serving as the former chief commissioner of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority before the designation.

Born in Amman in 1951, Mulki, whose father Fawzi Mulki was the first premier in the reign of His Majesty the late King Hussein in 1953, was trained as production engineer in Egypt and completed his post-graduate studies in the US. He has served as Jordan’s ambassador to Egypt and permanent representative at the Arab League. He has held the water, energy, supplies, industry and foreign affairs portfolios in previous governments.

Ensour served as premier from October 2012 and was re-designated in March 2013 following consultations with the main blocs of the then newly elected House, led by Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh.

In a reply letter to Ensour’s letter of resignation, His Majesty hailed the outgoing premier and his team for their performance during a critical time Jordan and the region were going through.

“I have been closely watching, with appreciation, your and your colleagues’ performance… over the past years. The way you rose to the challenges and conditions experienced by the region, which left their impact on the country, was characterised with reason and realism,” the King told Ensour.

He said the former premier “stood by my side and we faced the crises together, and in the outcome, Jordan remained an oasis of security and stability, so thank you….”

The Monarch added that since the bloody events broke out in the Arab world, Jordan has walked two parallel paths: defending its borders against terrorists and carrying on with the reform process.

He said the former government’s cooperation with the legislative branch yielded a set of reform-oriented laws and economic legislation. 

His Majesty blamed the budget deficit and the mounting state debts during the past years on spending on refugees, especially since the meagre international support has left a gap between the actual spending and the aid received.

He thanked Ensour and his team for efforts to address such a situation, “which did not reflect a structural flaw in the national economy or a weakness in the performance of the government”, citing their efforts to prepare for the London donor conference in February. 

The King noted that Ensour’s resignation was a constitutional requirement as the House was dissolved after completing its term.

In his resignation letter, the outgoing prime minister also undrelined the difficult times during which he led the government due to regional turbulence, calling the stage “the most catastrophic in the history of the country”.

He said when peace prevails, Jordan has a legislative, economic and services infrastructure that will be ready for a “big launch”. 

King Abdullah met Ensour and his team at Al Husseiniya Palace and thanked them for their efforts.  

 

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