Jordan’s King Says New Cabinet Should Exert Financial Discipline

Jordan’s King Abdullah II named Abdullah al-Nossur as prime minister and said the new Cabinet must show financial restraint, the state-run Petra news agency reported.

In a letter addressed to al-Nossur, the king said Jordan’s fiscal and economic challenges require a medium-term budget to be presented to parliament that will be elected in the next few months.

“The government and all public sector institutions should exhibit the maximum degree of financial discipline, prudence and responsibility when they determine budget allocations and spending,” the king said in a letter addressed to the new prime minister.

The monarch said changes to remove obstacles facing investors must continue and a greater effort should be made to attract local, Arab and foreign investments, Petra said.

Jordan, one of the smallest economies in the Middle East, imports more than 90 percent of its oil and relies on foreign investment and grants to support its budget and current-account deficits. The kingdom’s power plants have had to switch to costlier fuels such as diesel after repeated interruptions in natural-gas supplies caused by sabotage of the export pipeline in neighboring Egypt.

The king said it is “imperative” for the government to speed policies ensuring the diversification of energy sources, with a focus on alternative and renewable sources as well as improved energy efficiency.

The king dissolved the lower house of parliament on Oct. 4 and ordered new elections. That decision meant the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Tarawneh had one week to resign.

Thousands of demonstrators belonging to the Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, marched in Amman on Oct. 5 to call for a constitutional monarchy and an elected government.

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