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Originally published Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 2:39 AM

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Jordan's king inaugurates new parliament

Jordan's king has inaugurated the kingdom's newly elected parliament with a pledge to press ahead with democratization, but added that he will help choose the next prime minister despite the choice having been formally given to the legislature.

The Associated Press

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AMMAN, Jordan —

Jordan's king has inaugurated the kingdom's newly elected parliament with a pledge to press ahead with democratization, but added that he will help choose the next prime minister despite the choice having been formally given to the legislature.

Abdullah II's speech was delivered on Sunday to lawmakers elected last month. Government officials say that this legislature will have more power than any of its predecessors, in line with a reform process meant to forestall any large-scale Arab Spring unrest.

But the Jan. 23 polls were boycotted by the best organized opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and yielded a body dominated by inexperienced independents.

An official said that the king wanted to avoid "political chaos." He spoke anonymously as he couldn't comment publicly on a matter considered a royal prerogative.

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