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Jordan's king picks interim prime minister

Oct. 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM

AMMAN, Jordan, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Jordanian King Abdullah II called on his interim prime minister to chart a path toward parliamentary elections where "citizens will enjoy more democracy."

Abdullah dissolved Parliament last week amid growing frustration over the national economy and allegations the king was abusing his position of power.

Protesters said Friday they wanted more democratic freedom in a country were the monarchy controls many of the political decisions.

Abdullah announced Wednesday he appointed veteran lawmaker Abdullah Ensour to be the interim prime minister. In a letter published by the official Petra news agency, the monarch stressed the importance of a civilian voice in upcoming elections.

"Citizens will enjoy more democracy, guaranteed by monitoring institutions that will safeguard rights and freedoms and the separation of powers," the message read.

Elections are scheduled for late 2012 or early 2013. Parliamentary leaders will choose a prime minister to replace Ensour.

"Between now and Elections Day, your government is expected to continue dialogue with all segments of society, political parties and political forces, to encourage them to effectively take part in the elections as candidates and voters," Abdullah's statement read.

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