New Jordanian government wins vote of confidence

New Jordanian government wins vote of confidence
Jordan's House of Representatives has endorsed the new government formed after mass anti-austerity protests.
2 min read
20 July, 2018
Jordanian Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz (C) meets with Union leaders in Amman [Getty]

Jordan's House of Representatives has given a vote of confidence to a new government that was formed after nationwide protests.

The government shake-up has seen half the cabinet's 28 ministers replaced, with Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Interior Minister Samir al-Mabidin among those keeping their jobs.

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz's new cabinet, which includes a record seven women, received a 79-42 vote on Thursday after five days of deliberations by parliament's lower house. Six members were not present for the vote and two abstained.

Widespread protests over a plan to increase the country's income tax toppled the previous government last month.

Razzaz, a Havard-trained economist and former World Bank official, must defuse public anger over economic policies while attempting to meet reform demands from financial donors.

A controversial tax law, part of reforms backed by the International Monetary Fund, triggered the protests. The new government is working on another version of the law.

In a speech before the vote, Razzaz promised "serious revision" of the tax burden.

Austerity measures have seen prices of basic necessities rise across the kingdom, culminating in angry protests over tax proposals - later withdrawn - that forced prime minister Hani Mulki to resign on 4 June.

Jordan blames its economic woes on instability rocking the region and the burden of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing war in neighbouring Syria.