Wed Nov 24, 11:39 am ET
AMMAN (AFP) – A new Jordanian government took the oath of office before King Abdullah II on Wednesday, after the monarch asked Prime Minister Samir Rifai to form a new line-up following a November 9 election.
There are 11 new faces in the 31-member cabinet, which includes three women and three deputy prime ministers, according to an official list.
Royal adviser Ayman Safadi becomes a deputy prime minister while two ministers who held the title in the outgoing cabinet -- interior minister Nayef Qadi and minister of state Rajai Moasher both leave office.
The interior ministry will be taken over by Saad Hayel Srour, a conservative former parliament speaker who is a scion of one of the kingdom's largest tribes.
Two new faces are among the three women in the new government -- Rabiha Dabbas, a former governor of the northern province of Jerash, becomes municipal affairs minister, while Nisrin Barakat, a former secretary general of the National Aid Fund, becomes public development minister.
Hala Lattouf retains her position as social development minister.
Shortly before his swearing-in, the prime minister told AFP that Jordan faced "major challenges that require real coordination between the government and parliament."
He said that "change is the name of the game... something that was reflected in the results of the parliamentary poll which saw a majority of new members elected."
Pro-government loyalists swept this month's vote, which was boycotted by the opposition Islamic Action Front.
The king called the election two years early in the face of press allegations of ineffectiveness and corruption among some of the MPs elected in the previous poll in 2007.
Rifai, 43, has headed the government since December 2009 and had carried out a reshuffle in July.