Jordan Ministers Sacked For Breaching COVID-19 Protocols

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People wait at the main entrance of the Prince Hashem bin Hussein field hospital, Jordan’s first Covid-19 field hospital, in the city of Zarqa, 25 Km (15 miles) east of the capital Amman on December 8, 2020. (Photo by Khalil MAZRAAWI / AFP)


Jordan’s interior and justice ministers were sacked Sunday for breaching health regulations to stem the spread of coronavirus, with their replacements named by royal decree.

The pair were asked to step down by Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh, a move immediately endorsed by King Abdullah II, according to a statement from the royal palace.

They are accused, according to a government source, of “having violated the emergency law” put in place to curb Covid-19.

The Jordanian news website Ammon claimed interior minister Samir Mobaideen and justice minister Bassam Talhuni had attended a dinner in a restaurant in Amman with a total of nine people, when the law allowed a maximum of six.

Tawfiq Krishan, deputy prime minister and in charge of local administration, was appointed as the new interior minister.

Ahmed Ziyadat, State Secretary for Legal Affairs, was named as justice minister.

Following a surge in virus cases, Jordan toughened this week its Covid-19 restrictions, returning to rules imposed in March last year, and which were only eased last month.

Jordan, which began vaccinations last month, has officially recorded more than 386,000 novel coronavirus cases and 4,675 deaths out of a population of 10.5 million people.