Jordan's King Abdullah receives reform proposals

The monarch appointed a royal committee to review the political system after rift with his brother

FILE PHOTO: King of Jordan Abdullah II addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France January 15, 2020. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler//File Photo
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A Jordanian royal committee announced on Sunday that it had submitted proposals for political reform to King Abdullah.

The king formed the Royal Committee to Modernise the Political System in June. It is comprised of former ministers, loyalist academics and other pro-government figures.

The proposals leave the significant powers in the country in the hands of the king.

But they also aim to create national political parties and “solid parliamentary blocks capable of cohesive legislative and monitoring roles”, the committee said on its website.

The 130-member Chamber of Deputies legislature is mostly ceremonial and few deputies belong to political parties.

The parliament is dominated by members of tribes, mostly from outlying areas, elected on behalf of their districts.

Jordan is experiencing a severe economic downturn.

The centrepiece of the reform proposals is a new election law.

It allows some candidates from political parties to run for parliament across districts. Half of the seats would be reserved for political parties.

Deputies would not be allowed to do business with the government through any companies they may own, and ministers cannot be deputies at the same time.

Upon receiving their proposals, King Abdullah told members of the committee that parties in Jordan would need “to work on strengthening their tools in the coming phase to convince the citizens of their programmes”.

Updated: October 03, 2021, 6:40 PM