Jordan's king tasks royal court chief with consultations to select new PM

2013-02-11 23:43:51 GMT2013-02-12 07:43:51(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

AMMAN, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- King Abdullah II of Jordan on Monday ordered Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh to start consultations with the Lower House to select a new prime minister, the state-run Petra news agency reported.

The step is the first in a new process in Jordan to select prime ministers in consultations with the lawmakers and seeks to entrench political pluralism.

On Sunday, the Jordanian leader said he will start consultations with the Lower House and its blocs over the formation of the new government.

"We will start as part of this new approach with consultations over the government's formation with the Lower House and parliamentary blocs as they take shape, in order to reach a consensus that leads to the designation of a prime minister, who, in turn, will enter into consultations with the parliamentary blocs and other political forces as he selects his ministerial team," the king said in a speech at the opening of an extraordinary session of the 17th parliament.

The prime minister will then seek the Lower House's confidence based on a policy statement resulting from the consultation process and a four-year program, said Abdullah II in the speech, of which a copy was obtained by Xinhua.

If a coalition of blocs that enjoys the support of the parliament house's majority emerges, the consultation and government formation are expected to be quick and smooth. In the absence of a majority coalition, on the other hand, this process will take more time and effort, said the king.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour submitted his resignation to the king in late January, but the king asked him to continue to run the government until a new one is formed.

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