AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan’s royal palace said Thursday the king had dissolved his parliament, setting the stage for new elections.

Jordan’s government have claimed that the need for new elections stem from reforms that they say spared Jordan the Arab Spring uprisings that have toppled four Mideast rulers so far.

Critics charge that the electoral reforms do not go far enough in neutralizing distortions that ensure parliamentary strength for the supporters of King Abdullah II or curtail his absolute powers.

The palace statement Thursday did not say when the parliamentary elections would take place.

Abdullah said recently a new parliament will elect a prime minister early next year, in response to popular demands. Up to now the king has appointed the premier.

Under the constitution, the Cabinet must resign within a week of the parliament’s dissolution.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.