Jordan Lawmakers Quit Parliament Over Abandoned Casino Plan

Three members of Jordan’s parliament resigned and another 54 said they will boycott house sessions in a dispute over an abandoned plan to build a casino in the Muslim country, Petra said.

The lawmakers were protesting a parliamentary vote on June 27 which cleared Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit, who was in the post at the time of the casino plan in 2007, and several ex- ministers of responsibility for the failed project. Parliament voted to send one former minister to be tried at a special tribunal in connection with the case, the Jordan Times reported today.

The Islamic Action Front, the kingdom’s largest opposition party, says Bakhit and the former ministers were involved in the project, and called for the resignation of his government. It should be replaced with a “national salvation government,” the party, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, said on its website.

Jordan’s opposition has staged demonstrations this year to demand reform and an end to corruption, inspired by pro- democracy revolts in Tunisia and Egypt. Their protests, which did not demand the overthrow of the monarchy, were sometimes violently broken up by security forces.

King Abdullah responded by appointing Bakhit to head a new administration. He promised on June 12 to ease restrictions on political parties and allow the formation of governments based on a parliamentary majority, without saying when it will happen.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Mohammad Tayseer via Dubait ; or Nayla Razzouk in Amman at

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