AMMAN — Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and his Cabinet were sworn in Saturday before His Majesty King Abdullah, becoming the 77th government in the country’s history and the 13th since the King ascended the Throne.
Besides Ensour, the Cabinet consists of 18 ministers. It does not include any member of Parliament, despite calls made by some deputies during three weeks of consultations over the make-up of the first parliamentary government in decades.
One of the key features of the new Cabinet is the reintroduction of the supply portfolio, which was cancelled in 1998 as part of a free-market policy.
Only four ministers from Ensour’s outgoing government stayed on. They include Nasser Judeh (foreign affairs), Hatem Halawani (industry, trade, supply and ICT), Khleef Al Khawaldeh (public sector development) and Nidal Katamine (labour).
The Cabinet includes nine first-time ministers, and five who have served in previous governments.
Among the newcomers are Public Security Department Director Hussein Majali who was appointed as interior minister, economist and researcher Ibrahim Saif who became planning minister, and women’s rights activist Reem Abu Hassan who became minister of social development. Hassan is the only woman in the new government. There were no women in Ensour’s outgoing government.
Portfolio mergers are also a milestone in the new government.
The interior minister also handles the municipal affairs portfolio, while Halawani is entrusted with the supplies portfolio in addition to his two other titles. The Agriculture Ministry was giving the water portfolio, and the Transport Ministry was added to the labour minister.
Meanwhile, the education and higher education ministries were split, and the title of the foreign minister had a new addition: expatriate affairs.
Following is the list of Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour’s Cabinet members:
•Abdullah Ensour: Prime Minister and Minister of Defence
•Amin Mahmoud: Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research
•Nasser Judeh: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs
•Hussein Majali: Minister of Interior and Minister of Municipal Affairs
•Mohammad Wahsh: Minister of Education
•Hatem Halawani: Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply and Minister of Information and Communications Technology
•Hazem Nasser: Minister of Water and Irrigation and Minister of Agriculture
•Umayya Toukan: Minister of Finance
•Khleef Al Khawaldeh: Minister of Public Sector Development
•Mohammad Qudah: Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs
•Nidal Katamine: Minister of Labour and Minister of Transport
•Ahmad Ziadat: Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Prime Ministry Affairs
•Walid Masri: Minister of Public Works and Housing
•Ibrahim Saif: Minister of Planning and International Cooperation and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities
•Mohammad Momani: Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications and Minister of Political Development and Parliamentary Affairs
•Reem Abu Hassan: Minister of Social Development
•Mujalli Mhailan: Minister of Health and Minister of Environment
•Malek Kabariti: Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources
•Barakat Awajan: Minister of Culture