Ranya Kadri and Ethan Bronner
New York Times

October 18, 2011

AMMAN, Jordan — King Abdullah II of Jordan, under growing pressure to accelerate political reform and genuine anticorruption measures, fired his government on Monday, just eight months after doing so for similar reasons in the early days of the Arab Spring.

In a statement announcing the change, King Abdullah said, “We have accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit, taking into consideration the views of the various sectors of society as well as a letter we have received from the parliamentary majority.”

Mr. Bakhit was seen by many as dragging his feet on political changes. His government also angered Jordanians with a new law that made it a crime, punishable by a steep fine, to falsely accuse someone of corruption. The law is seen as an infringement on the news media and free speech.

Also of concern are episodes of lawlessness, especially by groups thought to be working with the government, who have attacked opposition gatherings. The most recent example was on Saturday when an anticorruption conference, attended by opposition figures and members of four prominent tribes, was disrupted by attackers firing guns and throwing stones.

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