Jordan's King Abdullah II dissolves parliament

King Abdullah II of Jordan CBS News

AMMAN, Jordan Jordan's royal palace says the king has dissolved his parliament, setting the stage for elections.

Jordan's government has claimed that the elections emerge from reforms that spared Jordan the Arab Spring uprisings that have toppled four Mideast rulers so far.

Critics charge that the electoral reforms to do not go far enough in neutralizing distortions that ensure parliamentary strength for the supporters of King Abdullah II or curtail his absolute powers.

An electoral law was passed last year that marginalizes representation of Jordanians of Palestinian origin in the government, Reuters reports. Islamists in Jordan - who are planning on holding a massive rally Friday in Amman - rely on Palestinians for support. They say without further reforms they will boycott the elections, which could damage their legitimacy.

The palace statement Thursday did not say when the parliamentary elections would take place.

Abdullah said recently a new parliament will elect a prime minister early next year, in response to popular demands. Up to now the king has appointed the premier.

Under the constitution, the Cabinet must resign within a week of the parliament's dissolution.

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