AMMAN: Jordan's King Abdullah II on Wednesday appointed veteran diplomat and palace aide Bisher Al-Khasawneh as the new prime minister, days after accepting the resignation of Omar Al-Razzaz, the royal palace said.
The monarch dissolved parliament on Sept. 27 at the end of its four-year term, a move that under constitutional rules meant the government had to resign within a week.
In a letter of designation, the king said he entrusted Al-Khasawneh, who has been a palace advisor since last year after a career mostly spent as a diplomat and peace negotiator with Israel, to form a cabinet of qualified ministers who would rise to the country's challenges.
Al-Khasawneh will oversee parliamentary elections due on Nov. 10 whose outcome is expected under an electoral law that marginalizes the Islamist opposition to maintain a majority of pro-government deputies.
The country is facing a peak in COVID-19 infections at a time of rising popular discontent over worsening economic conditions and curbs on public freedoms under emergency laws.
Jordan's economy is expected to shrink by 6% this year as it grapples with its worst economic crisis in many years, with unemployment and poverty aggravated by the pandemic.