King Abdullah of Jordan has dismissed his cabinet and appointed a new prime minister in wake of widespread street protests.

The king has appointed Marouf Bakhit to replace Samir Rifai as prime minister in an attempt to appease protesters.

According to a statement released from the king’s palace, the new prime minister will be spearheading the drive “to take practical, quick and tangible steps to launch true political reforms, enhance Jordan’s democratic drive and ensure safe and decent living for all Jordanians”.

Reports from Jordan say that the appointment of Rifai has been rejected by Islamist groups.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Jordan to protest against high levels of unemployment and rising prices. They are also demanding for the right to elect the prime minister.

The protests for increased democracy in the kingdom followed on from the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt, which resulted in the overthrow of the Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has announced he will stand down at the next elections.