Last updated: 25 October, 2011

Islamists: Jordan’s new government not up to reform hopes

Jordan’s opposition Islamists said on Tuesday the new government’s line-up did not meet people’s “aspirations and hopes” for reform, a day after the cabinet led by judge Awn Khasawneh took office.

“The new government’s composition was not up to the inspirations and hopes of people,” said Ali Abu Sukkar, head of the Islamic Action Front (IAF)’s shura council, in a statement carried by the group’s website.

“We had hopes that the government would be formed in line with realities of the current phase,” it read.

King Abdullah II swore in the new 30-strong cabinet of Khasawneh, 61, an International Court of Justice judge, who pledged to push ahead with political reforms.

“We are not against the government. We will support the government if it backs reforms. We do not oppose its policies for the sake of opposing,” Abu Sukkar said.

“The government should have a political will that leads to genuine reforms, ends the crisis in the street and restores trust between people and decision makers,” he added.

The IAF, the political arm of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, has refused to join the government saying it “resembles its predecessors.”

The king a week earlier dismissed prime minister Maaruf Bakhit’s government after accusations that it failed to introduce needed reform.

Since January, Jordan has faced protests demanding political and economic reforms and an end to corruption.