Jordan's royal palace says King Abdullah II has sworn in a caretaker Cabinet ahead of parliamentary elections. It's likely the last time the king appoints a premier.

The new 21-member Cabinet took office Thursday, a week after Abdullah dissolved parliament ahead of elections. That's a focus of his reform campaign to try to stave off Arab Spring uprisings that have toppled four Mideast leaders so far.

A key reform is allowing the parliament to pick the premier.

The new Cabinet is headed by Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, an independent politician who has cordial ties with the opposition, including the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, which is boycotting the election.

The election is expected at the beginning of 2013.

The palace statement says ministers of finance, foreign affairs and planning retained their posts.