Middle East

New Cabinet takes office in Jordan, ahead of parliament vote

Jordan's King Abdullah II has sworn in a new government that is to prepare for parliament elections within four months and try to boost the country's flagging economy.

Wednesday's ceremony came after the monarch dissolved the legislature earlier this week, paving the way for new elections, and named a new prime minister, economist Hani Mulki.

Some key portfolios, including that of foreign minister, did not change hands. However, another economist, Jawad Anani, was named to a new post of deputy prime minister of economic affairs, an apparent signal of shifting priorities.

Cabinet reshuffles are frequent in Jordan where the king has considerable powers.

Jordan has faced economic downturn, including rising unemployment, in recent years, in part because of the fallout from civil war in neighboring Syria.