AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — King Abdullah II says that ruling Jordan is a heavy responsibility that brings him no gain — an unusually strong-worded rebuke from an Arab monarch to critics who oppose his parliament-driven reform plan.

Abdullah’s road map envisions parliament electing a prime minister for the first time ever. Previously, it was the king’s prerogative to appoint a premier.

But the powerful Islamist opposition is boycotting the polls, saying that the election system gives too much weight to traditional tribally based conservatives loyal to the monarchy. The conservatives are also skeptical of the reform plan, fearing it will cost them their clout.

Abdullah’s Tuesday remarks underline concerns over Jordan’s stability in the regional turbulence created by the Arab Spring.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.