Abu Al-Raghib, Ali (1946–)
ABU AL-RAGHIB, ALI (1946–)
Jordanian political figure. Ali Abu al-Raghib was born in December 1946 in Amman to a wealthy Jordanian family. After earning a civil engineering degree in the United States, Abu al-Raghib was named director of projects at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, a post he held from 1967 to 1972. Next, he joined the private sector to head a construction company. In 1986 he was elected president of the Association of Jordanian Entrepreneurs; the following year he was elected councilman of the city of Amman. In 1989 he was elected president of the Higher Council of the Federation of Entrepreneurs of the Arab Council of Cooperation. Ali Abu al-Raghib was close to the Jordanian Arab National Democratic Alliance (JANDA); in June of 1991, then-Prime Minister Taher Masri named him director of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. On 21 November he became minister of Energy and Mining in the cabinet of Zayd bin Shakir, a post to which he was reappointed in May 1993. On 8 January 1995 he was named minister of Commerce and Industry in the bin Shakir government, an office he held until the government resigned in 1996. Elected deputy in 1997, he chaired the Commission on Finance and Economic Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies, playing an important role in the privatization program in Jordan and in finalizing an accord linking Jordan with the European Union.
On 12 December 1999, King Abdullah II appointed him president of the Consultative Economic Council, in charge of supervising economic reforms, and in January 2000 he was placed in charge of creating a zone of economic expansion at Aqaba. On 18 June he became prime minister, replacing Abdul Raouf al-Rawabdeh. On 7 August 2001, while the al-Aqsa Intifada intensified in the Palestinian territories, he met with Yasir Arafat. On 25 October King Abdullah instructed Abu al-Raghib to initiate a ministerial reorganization aiming at the elimination of the Ministry of Information and its replacement by a "Supreme Council for Information," the idea being to liberalize this economic sector. The king also asked Abu al-Raghib to accelerate the program of economic and social reforms set in motion by the government. In October 2003, Abu al-Raghib was removed from office by the king after a long period of deteriorating relations with opposing political factions, particularly the Islamists, who complained of oppressive measures and government by decree.