Rawabdeh, Abd Al-Ra?uf Al- (1939 –)

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Jordanian political figure, born in Irbid. He received a bachelor of science in pharmacology from the American University of Beirut in 1962 and studied law at the University of Jordan from 1982 to 1983. Rawabdeh joined the Jordanian health ministry in 1962, becoming director of its pharmaceutical and supply department in 1968. In 1976, after having briefly served as administrative director of Yarmuk University, he was named communications minister, and two years later health minister, a post he filled for one year. From 1983 to 1989 he was the appointed mayor of the Jordanian capital, Amman. Between 1982 and 1985 he was on the governing board of the Jordanian Phosphate Mines Company. In 1989 he was appointed a parliamentary deputy and became minister of public works and habitat in the government of Tahir al-Masri. In February 1993 he created the Awakening (al-Yaqatha) Party, a center-right party, of which he was the secretary general. The following year he was elected deputy. In June 1994 he was named education minister in the government of Abd al-Salam Majali. He supported the 1994 peace treaty with Israel. Between 1995 and 1996 he was vice prime minister and minister of education. The following year he entered his party into a multiparty coalition, the National Constitutional Party, becoming deputy secretary general and head of its political section.

On 1 March 1999, following the accession of King Abdullah II to the Jordanian throne, he became prime minister and defense minister, replacing Fayiz al-Tarawneh. On 15 January 2000 he initiated a cabinet reshuffle, making the journalist Salih Qallab information minister. On the following 28 March he announced the creation of a royal commission for human rights, decided on by Abdullah II. Because the cabinet moved slowly in implementing the economic reforms requested by the king, on 18 June Rawabdeh resigned and was replaced by Ali Abu al-Raghib. In 2001 Rawabdeh was reelected to parliament. Having pulled his party out of the National Constitutional bloc, he once again represented the Yaqatha.

SEE ALSO Abdullah II ibn Hussein;Abu al-Raghib, Ali;Majali, Abd al-Salam;Tarawneh, Fayiz al-.