efe-epaAmman

Jordan's king on Thursday approved a new governmental cabinet after protests against austerity measures and tax increases forced the previous cabinet to resign.

King Abdullah II asked economist Omar al-Razzaz to form the new government last week, replacing Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki who stepped down from his post on June 4 amid criticism over his austerity policies dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Al-Razzaz retained 15 ministers from al-Mulki's government in his 29-member cabinet, including Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Interior Minister Samir Mubaydeen, while other ministers who bore responsibility for the economic policies that sparked popular discontent and protests were replaced.

Deputy Finance Minister Ezzidine Kanakriyah was appointed finance minister, succeeding Omar Malhas, who was the main target of the protests over the controversial income tax draft law, which the new premier promised to withdraw.

Al-Razzaz also appointed six women to ministerial positions.

The monarch commissioned al-Razzaz, a Harvard-educated economist, on June 5 to form a new government tasked with stimulating the Jordanian economy as its primary aim.