In an atmosphere of growing discontent, Jordan's King Abdullah II has appointed reformist politician Abdullah Ensour as prime minister in a move that looks set to bring a brief spell of stability to the country before voters are let loose on the polls at the end of the year.
The King announced his people pleasing appointment yesterday - just days after the country saw its biggest Friday protest to date when the Muslim Brotherhood took to the streets, leading a large-scale peaceful demonstration against flagrant corruptions in the kingdom.
The last parliament proved less than popular with waves of protests spreading through the country's capital, as well as allegations of corruption and rigged elections. And, the recent move to establish tighter control of the country's media with the newly passed press law did little to stem the tide of unrest.
Jordan is no stranger to political shakeups - the country has had five prime ministers in two years - and last week the King once again dissolved parliament, this time just two years into its four-year term. Now, in his latest move, he has seemingly bowed to the demands of his people by appointing a popular politician into office.
Ensour could be the right antidote to Jordan's unrest as he takes the position with a clean - corruption-free - slate. And, despite holding senior government posts in previous administrations, he has proved himself to be more than a puppet of the existing system by voting against the press and elections laws and demanding greater governmental powers. He has also spoken out for the national rights of Palestinian-Jordanians.
Jordan's man of the moment is already proving himself a new breed of prime minister having spent today in talks with the country's political black sheep, the Muslim Brotherhood, and union leaders.
If the King is right, the tide could finally be turning for the Kingdom's politics: “We are looking forward to a new parliament that will pave the way for the transformation toward parliamentary governments.”
But, all might not be as it seems. By taking the position of Prime Minister at this point, Ensour has ruled himself out of the running for the election at the end of the year, when he will reportedly receive a hefty retirement payout and step out of parliament.
As the country prepares for its first post-Arab Spring parliamentary polls, yesterday's announcement has left many wondering whether Jordanian politics is about to embark on a turning point or if Ensour's appointment is just a fleeting detour from the same old road.
What do you think of Jordan's latest PM? And, do you think the appointment of Abdullah Ensour will mark a change in Jordanian politics? Leave us your comments below!
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