Jordan cabinet reshuffle after virus rule breach

Jordan’s King Abdullah II reshuffled the government Sunday, with 10 ministers out including those of the interior and justice, after they breached coronavirus regulations last week.

The pair were asked to step down after reports they had attended a dinner in Amman with a total of nine people, when the law allowed a maximum of six.

Mazen al-Faraya, a general and vice president of the National Center for Security and Crisis Management, was appointed as interior minister.

Ahmed Ziyadat, State Secretary for Legal Affairs, as named as justice minister.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has not been replaced.

Ministers responsible for key economic portfolios also largely remain in their posts, apart from the ministers for transport and agriculture.

The cabinet was however trimmed down by three portfolios to 29, with Bisher al-Khasawneh serving as both prime minister and defence minister.

Oraib Rantawi, director of the Al Quds Centre for Political Studies in Amman, said the reshuffle raised eyebrows.

“I think the time has come, as the nation’s centenary approaches, to reconsider the way governments are formed in Jordan… otherwise Jordan will remain the world record holder for the number of former ministers,” he said.

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