PM Appointed in Jordan, Netanyahu Calls for Early Elections
Abdullah Ensour was appointed prime minister by King Abdullah II, with the task of forming a new government ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections. No deadline has been set for the establishment of a government, but it would be in the prime minister’s best interest to have one in place before the planned opposition rally on October 12, said Khaled Kalaldeh, a former parliamentary member. Meanwhile, outgoing Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh submitted his resignation as required by Jordan’s consitution. Nimer Assaf, deputy general secretary for the Islamic Action Front said, ”As far as we are concerned, we have no enmity toward any Jordanian person appointed by the king, especially for the appointment of the prime minister. We do not look for names, we look for the deeds, and we hope that this next government will go ahead with reforms which the Jordanians have been asking for a very long time.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he would be disbanding his coalition government following an impasse over budget cuts. The move came after months of negotiations failed to produce a budget which would address Israel’s shortfall in revenue. In a televised address Netanyahu stated “at this time it is not possible to pass a responsible budget” and ”the good of the State of Israel requires going to elections now, as soon as possible.” Originally slated for October 2013, elections are expected to take place by February. Aluf Benn, editor of Haaretz, noted Netanyahu is poised to be reelected, saying ”his rivals are weak and insignificant and have not presented an alternative to his policies… Mr. Netanyahu stands out as an authoritative, experienced statesman with no viable replacement.”
A strike organized by the Union Coordination Committee in Lebanon brought out hundreds of teachers and civil servants. The demonstrators called for long-awaited pay raises while marching from the Education Ministry to the Grand Serail in downtown Beirut. “There will be more and more escalatory measures all the way to an open-ended sit-in outside the Grand Serail if the government fails to refer the salary scale to parliament,” said Nehme Mahfoud, head of the Private Schools Teachers Association.