Jordanian premier reshuffles cabinet

AMMAN- Jordanian Prime Minister Samir Rifai reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday, dropping six ministers and replacing them with seven others, a senior official told AFP.
The ministers of justice, education, agriculture, tourism, information and cabinet affairs left the government, while Labour Minister Ibrahim Omush changed his portfolio to become state minister for prime ministry and legal affairs.

Seven new members entered the government, after they were sworn in by King Abdullah II.
Information Minister Nabil Sharif was replaced by Jordan's ambassador to Israel, Ali Ayed, and the new minister will no longer act as government spokesman.
The new members included two women, Suheir Ali, a former planning minister who was appointed minister of state for cabinet affairs, and newcomer Suzanne Afaneh, who replaced tourism minister Maha Khatib after heading the communications department at Zain telecom.
This brings the number of women in the cabinet to three, including Social Development Minister Hala Lattuf.
The outgoing ministers of education and justice have been at the centre of controversy.
Justice Minister Ayman Odeh has been accused by magistrates of proposing amendments to laws that would interfere in the independence of the judicial system.
Education Minister Ibrahim Badran has been harshly criticised, mainly by teachers, for remarks deemed offensive, including asking them to "shave their beards and dress properly."
Rifai's cabinet was sworn in last December after parliament was dissolved two years early by King Abdullah II, following criticism of the ineffectiveness and in some cases alleged corruption of members of the outgoing legislature.
The king has scheduled a general election for late 2010.

Wednesday, July 28th 2010

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