Jordan’s Lower House of Parliament has voted against indictment of Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit for his role in the so-called Dead Sea Casino scandal.
Former Minister of Tourism Osama Dabbas did not fare so well. The MPs voted in favor of his indictment in the matter.
A parliamentary investigation committee had named 33 people for their association with the affair, including 21 former ministers and several incumbents. The case involved a signed deal to put a casino on the shore of the Dead Sea during Bakhit’s first term in office.
Ammon News reports that in 2007 the Bakhit government authorized a London-based Palestinian investor to build a casino on the Dead Sea. The deal was later renegotiated during Prime Minister Nader Dahabi’s time in office, annulling the agreement and sparing the treasury $1.4 billion in fines stipulated in the deal.
Bakhit told Ammon News, “Today, we have presented a distinguished model of democracy. The deliberation under the dome of parliament today is a model of putting democracy into action. What took place today reinforces the checks and balances between powers in Jordan, in which every branch functions according to its proper role.”
Three members of the lower house have resigned over the decision to acquit.