Jordan’s new government wins confidence vote

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The government of Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour has won a vote of confidence after a week-long debate in parliament over price hikes and the two-year civil war in neighboring Syria.

The official Petra news agency says Ensour’s Cabinet got an 83-65 vote in the 150-seat legislature late Tuesday. One lawmaker abstained and one was absent.

Ensour is Jordan’s first premier chosen by lawmakers and not appointed by the king.

January’s parliamentary elections were billed as the centerpiece of King Abdullah’s political reform program that granted parliament the power to pick a premier.

Jordan’s economy is ailing, and rising energy costs are among the most pressing issues in the kingdom. Some lawmakers have also expressed concerns over the rising numbers of Syrian refugees in the resource-poor kingdom.

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