Jordan: Hani Mulki ‘likely to improve ties with Israel’

Amman, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has appointed long-time politician Hani Mulki as the new prime minister responsible for forming an interim government with parliamentary elections fast approaching.

The king ordered the resignation of Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour’s government as its four-year term came to an end and dissolved parliament on Sunday. Mulki will shepherd in the elections, which are set to take place within the next four months.

Jordanian analysts said the moves came as no surprise as both steps were long anticipated in light of domestic and regional developments.

The outgoing Ensour, who served since 2012, was one of the longest-serving prime ministers in Jordan’s history. Traditionally prime ministers serve between one to two years, and in some instances for few months only.

Ensour’s long tenure witnessed the passing of a new election law, controversial economic reforms, and constitutional amendments that gave the king absolute control over the legislative and judicial branches, in addition to his own executive powers as king.

The new prime minister-designate Mulki was the head of the Aqaba economic zone before he was chosen by King Abdullah.

Husam Abdallat, a former senior government aide at the prime minister’s office, told Al Jazeera from Amman that Mulki will most likely be given the job of attempting to engineer new negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

“Mulki will be working to bring Palestinians and Israelis to the negotiation table and work to bring a final solution to the Palestinian cause which most likely be at the expense of the Palestinian people,” he said.

Tareq al-Fayed, an Amman-based analyst on Jordanian affairs and a journalist at the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, said Mulki has two major mandates during his tenure.

“The first is to manage the news phase of the parliamentary elections and set the government’s political agenda. The second is to manage Israeli-Jordanian relations, which have seen tension over Israel’s policies and encroachment on the Palestinians in Jerusalem and against al-Aqsa mosque,” Fayed told Al Jazeera.

Source- Al Jazeera

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