Jordan PM reshuffles cabinet ahead of local elections

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday ahead of municipal elections next week, appointing two more women but leaving the foreign, interior and finance portfolios unchanged.

The newcomers include Lana Mamkegh, a state television presenter and columnist, as culture minister and Lina Shabeeb, a university professor, at transport.

Their appointments increased the number of women in the cabinet to three, as Social Development Minister Reem Abu Hassan kept her post.

Also new to the government is Khaled Kalaldeh, secretary general of the pro-reform Social Leftist Movement, who will be in charge of political and parliamentary affairs.

Lawyer Bassam Talhuni is the new justice minister, while the head of the public Prine Hamzah Hospital, Ali Hiasat, takes over health and the head of the Electricity Regulatory Commission, Mohammed Hamad, takes the energy portfolio.

Interior Minister Hussein Majali, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Finance Minister Ummaya Tukan and Information Minister Mohmmad Momani all keep their jobs.

King Abdullah II issued a decree approving the reshuffle of the cabinet, which Nsur formed in March. He formed a first government in October last year.

Nsur, 73, who held several key ministries in the 1980s and 1990s, has been an outspoken advocate of reform in the desert kingdom.