A week after being appointed Jordan's next prime minister, Maarouf Bakhit announced his cabinet. Former PM Samir Rifai resigned after protests demanded he step down, citing grievances of increasing prices and the slow pace of political reforms under Rifai. The new cabinet was drawn primarily from former cabinet members, but includes leftist politicians and unionists as well as one former Muslim Brotherhood member.
Bakhit invited the Islamic Action Front, representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, to join his government on two different occasions. Both times, the IAF indicated that they would not join the government until it was under a prime minister who was elected. Currently, the king appoints and dismisses prime ministers. Hamzeh Mansour, head of the IAF, indicated that while the current cabinet resembles former cabinets, the IAF was optimistic about reforms and would be supportive from its role outside the government.
Some on Twitter began by offering their best wishes and support. LumaQ tweeted:
i pray today's #jo ministers are impressive and up to the responsibility bestowed upon them…
1Shery1 urged patience and support for the new cabinet:
Are we going 2give the new Cabinet the chance 2prove commitment toward reforming OR we will start complaining and criticizing? #JO #ReformJO
A7lamShams was cautiously optimistic:
I can't see how this #JO Gov will work as a team. I hope they prove me wrong. #REFORMJo my the Lord's Grace be with us.
Many noted that, in the face of demands for reform, so many newly-appointed ministers were former ministers.
Taylor Luck tweeted:
#JO gov't remains largely the same with virtually no “opposition” pressence, Parliament is the same. Will protestors be satisfied? #Amman
Ali Abu-Nimah wrote:
Responding to unprecedented unrest Jordan announces new cabinet dramatically the same as all previous ones http://bit.ly/esV7E0 #ReformJO
And Mohanned al-Arabiat added:
حكومة تسعينات في عام 2011 .. #ReformJO
Others expressed concern that the cabinet members were too old to be reformists. Luma Q joked:
YAY TO THE SENIORS PARTY!! #JO
Abdul Wahab Kayyali tweeted:
Average age of ministers is probably around 60. Doesn't scream “reform.” Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. #ReformJo
Some were overtly disappointed. Hamzeh Lattouf encouraged his fellow tweeters that a future government could be more innovative:
next time hanin.. next time \RT @HaninSh: And the new government is formed… #JO
Mohanned al-Arabiat tweeted:
Names of Appointed Minsters are Yawn inducing. #ReformJO
Rula Kanaan resigned herself to the reality of the new government:
New gov. is very disappointing. I seriously wonder how they appoint ministers! Based on what!? Oh well, 3 mnths & they'll be gone #JO #Fail
Others were supportive and optimistic. Mohammad Khasawneh wrote:
@tarawnah I really think the cabinet contains a lot of good names beside Dr. Toukan. Maybe some with wrong ministry but yet.. #reformjo #jo
Hiba al-Ali tweeted:
Large cabinet but potentially good team. Awaiting immediate surgical measures to reduce burden on budget in identified areas #Reformjo
Nashmiyya simply was more interested in policy than personnel:
Anxious to find out our government action plan and fix-it plan [realize now names don't matter as much] #reformjo