Jordan's King Fires Cabinet After Protests

But opposition leader says they're not like Egypt
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2011 8:28 AM CST
Jordanian protesters, some of them holding the national flag, march during a protest against the Prime Minister and his government, in Amman, Jordan, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011.   (AP Photo/Nader Daoud)
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(Newser) – King Abdullah II cleared out his government today, after thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand the ouster of Prime Minister Samir Rifai, who many blamed for high fuel prices and slow political reform, according to al-Jazeera. The king has asked Marouf Bakhit, an ex-army general and former court adviser, to form a new Cabinet. “He's someone who would be seen as a safe pair of hands,” says one professor, but “I wouldn't see it as a sign of liberalization.”

The protests have been spreading across Jordan for weeks, inspired by the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt. But the leader of the country’s powerful Islamist opposition group says they’re not looking for Abdullah’s head, and would be satisfied with Rifai’s ouster. “Jordan is not Egypt,” he told the AP.

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