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Jordan: Reactions to a New Prime Minister

Jordan has seen several weeks of peaceful protests asking for a change in government led by Prime Minister Samir Rifai. These protests were aimed at relief from high prices which are increasing due to decreased government subsidies and increased taxes. Given Jordan's high public debt, running at 62.4% of GDP, Rifai's job was largely seen as decreasing public debt. His connections with business as the leader of Jordan Dubai Capital led to ire and accusations that he was more interested in corporations than public good.

Rifai is being replaced with Maarouf Bakhit, a former Prime Minister from 2005 to 2007, who has roots in the Jordanian military and as Jordan's ambassador to Israel. Upon the announcement of the personnel change, Twitter lit up with Jordanian reactions. Some expressed their appreciation for PM Rifai's service to Jordan. Hanin Abu Shamat wrote:

HE @SamirAlRifai's new bio: ” Proud Jordanian citizen”. I love! :) ❤ Much respect. Thanks again a million, ma gasart! :) #JO

Rani Dababneh wrote:

Great work @SamirAlRifai it has been a rough global stage, & will continue!! I hope people will give the new PM a chance (cont) #Amman #JO

Rani continued, expressing dismay at the Jordanian protesters:

.. & wont protest the next day asking for a new PM, having no clue who on earth they want! #Amman #Jordan #JO

Fadi Ghandour praised the King for his decision:

As we watch #Egypt situation unfold we should also know King Abdullah of Jordan has given a new life for reform. No excuses any longer #jo

On a rainy day in Amman and throughout much of Jordan, Rula tweeted:

The “rains” of change. How invigorating :) #reformjo #jo

Others were displeased with the choice of the new Prime Minister. Wasseem al-Kury wrote:

Main achievements for #bakheet: faruded 2007 elections & the casino agreement which costed us millions. #jo #angryjordan #reformjo #jordan

Bilal Tarawneh expressed flatly:

Not expecting much #Jo #reformjo

And many, like Shadi Hamid, expressed skepticism that any new prime minister would be effective:

#Jordan dismissing PM not a big deal. King does that like every year. PM doesn't matter much in Jordan anyway #reformJO

Diana Madani agreed:

a new #JO government! So what? We need new effective continuous strategies and policies!

Follow ongoing reactions on Twitter at #reformjo, #jo, #angryjordan and #myjordan

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