AMMAN, Jordan – Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Thursday acknowledged that reforms in the country have “slowed and stumbled,” and urged to the nation’s Muslim opposition to work with the new government to give the people a greater say in politics.
The appeal comes a day after the powerful Muslim Brotherhood rejected an offer from the country’s newly appointed prime minister to join his Cabinet, saying the new premier is the wrong person to introduce reforms.
The Royal Palace said in a statement that Abdullah, who is under growing public pressure in the wake of the upheaval in Tunisia and Egypt, told leaders of the Brotherhood and other Islamist groups that he wanted “everyone to work together to achieve needed progress in the political reform process and increase the citizens’ participation in decision-making.”
Jamil Abu-Bakr, a senior Brotherhood leader, said the king did not try to persuade the Islamist group during Thursday’s meeting to reconsider its refusal to join Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit’s new Cabinet.
Abu-Bakr said the Brotherhood pressed its demands to curb Abdullah’s power to name prime ministers and instead allow Jordanians to elect them by vote.