Jordan's King Abdullah on Saturday accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Omar al Razzaz but asked him to stay on as a caretaker premier until he designates a successor to oversee parliamentary elections on Nov. 10.

Iran PressMiddle East: The monarch dissolved parliament last Sunday at the end of its four-year term in a move that under constitutional rules meant the government had to resign within a week.

A new government will pave the way for the November vote, as the country grapples with the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections over the last month that the last government had been widely criticized for, state media said.

King Abdullah appointed Prime Minister Omar al Razzaz in the summer of 2018 to defuse the biggest protests in years over tax increases sought by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce Jordan’s large public debt.

The monarch hopes a wider shake-up and a new assembly could ease popular disenchantment over economic hardships worsened by the blow of COVID-19 and limits on civil and political freedoms under emergency laws.

Jordan’s economy is expected to shrink by 6% this year as it tackles its worst economic crisis in many years, with unemployment and poverty aggravated by the pandemic.