Last updated: 25 October, 2011

Jordan king names new royal court chief

Jordan’s King Abdullah II appointed a new palace chief on Tuesday and instructed him to “meet people’s needs,” a day after a reform-mandated government took office.

The king named Riyadh Abu Karaki, a senator, former social development minister and retired army major general, to replace veteran politician and university professor Khaled Karaki.

“Your top priority should be to stay in constant touch with all Jordanians, listen to their concerns and meet people’s demands, in addition to your duty as a link between me and all state institutions,” the king told Abu Karaki in a letter, state-run Petra news agency reported.

Karaki joined a new 60-member senate or upper house of parliament formed by the king on Tuesday.

The appointment came a day after the king swore in the 30-strong cabinet of Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh, 61, an International Court of Justice judge, who has pledged to push ahead with political reforms.

The new government took office a week after the monarch appointed Major-General Feisal Shobaki as intelligence chief, instructing him to back Jordan’s reform drive and enhance freedoms.

In August, the king spoke of a “tsunami” of change in top state posts to boost his reform plans, after protests in Jordan since January to demand political and economic reforms and an end to corruption.