Two Jordanian ministers caught breaking lockdown measures, resign

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Monday, March 1, 2021

The Jordanian Ministers for Interior and Justice resigned yesterday after they were found violating anti-coronavirus lockdown measures.

File photo of now ex-Minister of Justice Bassam Talhouni.
Image: Міністерство юстиції України.

Both Interior Minister Samir Mobeideen and Justice Minister Bassam Talhouni were found at a public banquet violating the social distancing as well as maximum permissible capacity guidelines which their ministries are expected to enforce. Current capacity is limited to 20 people. This comes days after the imposition of new restrictions on Jordanians, including stay-at-home orders, a military-enforced curfew and a 100 dinar (~US$140) fine on those not wearing face masks.

Their resignations were accepted by Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh and, in one of two Royal Decrees, King Abdullah II. According to multiple reports, the second decree ratified Deputy Prime Minister for Local Administration Tawfiq Kreishan to run the Ministry of the Interior and State Minister for Legal Affairs Ahmad Ziadat to run the Ministry of Justice.

A recent surge in new infections by variants of the coronavirus has led to at least 4627 deaths and over 300 thousand cases in the nation of ten million, Reuters reported. Officials attribute it to Jordanians not obeying the restrictions, and have arrested dozens for breaching stay-at-home orders; hundreds of businesses have also been closed, Reuters further added in the report.