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King Abdullah
Jordan's king names Hague court judge as prime minister
Awn al-Khasawneh replaces Maroud al-Bakhit, who resigned following Guardian story about secret deal to build supercasino
Marouf al-Bakhit stepped down after MPs sent a petition to the king demanding his dismissal. Photograph: Jamal Nasrallah/EPA
Associated Press in Amman
Monday 17 October 2011 12.01 EDT
14.12 EST
This article is 4 years old
Jordan's King Abdullah named an international judge as his new prime minister. The announcement follows the resignation of Marouf al-Bakhit, who was called to stand down by 70 out of 120 MPs.
Awn al-Khasawneh, "has a clean slate domestically and internationally", said Amjad Adaileh, an adviser to the king.
Bakhit, a former general who was widely seen as dragging his feet in implementing reforms, was also accused of corruption during his earlier 2005-07 tenure as prime minister.
The Guardian revealed last month that he authorised a secret contract to build an extra-legal supercasino complex, despite publicly denying responsibility for it. The multimillion-dollar Dead Sea casino deal is now frozen and has been the focus of anti-corruption street protests and parliamentary crises.
The king instructed the new premier to swiftly open dialogue with opposition figures who have grown disgruntled with the pace of reform.
The appointment of Khasawneh, a deputy chief of The Hague-based international court of justice, reinforces Abdullah's stated intentions of instituting reforms. The measures could include decentralisation, fighting corruption, giving more independence to parliament and inviting the opposition into the government.
Khasawneh – who served as a chief adviser to Abdullah's late father, King Hussein – is likely to form his cabinet before a three-day special meeting of the World Economic Forum, which opens in Jordan on Friday. Khasawneh has a reputation as a clean politician and is a noted legal expert.
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