Mixed reaction in Jordan over proposed constitutional amendments, including expansion to king’s power

By Daoud Kuttab, 2 December 2021
Parliament of Jordan (photo credit: DPA)
Parliament of Jordan (photo credit: DPA)
Jordan’s Parliament has been presented with 30 constitutional changes that aim to reform electoral law while also increasing the powers of the king within the executive branch. [...] Among the changes is the “constitutionalizing of the National Security Council with wide-ranging political and security powers.” The new council, headed by the king, will include the prime minister, army chief, directors of the security forces, foreign and interior ministers, as well as two other members that the king will appoint. The concern is that the council will “create a new body that will be parallel to that of the executive and legislative branches of government.” Jordan’s monarch will also be able to appoint and fire the chief justice, head of the Sharia court, the general mufti, the head of the Royal Hashemite Court and advisers, adding to existing control over the chief of the army, head of the gendarmerie and head of the intelligence service. In the past, all these appointments were made based on the recommendations of the prime minister. Samar Mhareb, director of Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development, told Arab News that there is “no justification” for the amendments. “These amendments will deepen the lack of trust with government and will propel the palace into the unilateral decision-making process on the account of sovereign bodies that are supposed to carry out issues of national accountability,” said Mhareb. The message behind these amendments is that the elected bodies are not able to take such important decisions, he added.
Read the full article here: Arab News


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