Jordan’s prime minister Khasawneh resigns

AMMAN — Jordan's Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh resigned on Thursday after barely six months in office, state media said, following growing criticism of a draft election law his government was preparing.

Khasawneh, 62, was asked to form a government last October by King Abdullah after protests calling for faster political reforms in the kingdom.

But his proposed election law drew criticism, including from tribal parliamentarians and the powerful intelligence services, who felt it favored Islamist politicians.

A minister who declined to be named said Khasawneh took the unusual step of submitting his resignation while outside the country in response to a decision to extend a parliamentary session in which he was likely to face further criticism.

"It was a surprise move. The prime minister was unhappy about the decision to extend parliament," the minister said.

Khasawneh was a former chief of the royal court and a legal advisor to the Jordanian team that negotiated a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.

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