Jordan’s King Abdullah Welcomes Reform Plans Amidst Regional Unrest


Jordan’s King Abdullah Welcomes Reform Plans Amidst Regional Unrest
by Darius Kadivar

King Abdullah of Jordan has said proposals for limited reform of the constitution are a sign of political maturity among Jordanians. (Watch Related BBC Video)

The proposals,presented to the king on Sunday, include the limited transfer of some powers to parliament. Given the unrest in the region observers Wonder if Jordan’s Kingdom will achieve it’s democratic transition as peacefully as in Morocco ? The Jordan King will have to take the ship to destination with a great deal of dexterity and vision. Easier said than done ...






King Abdullah II of Jordan announces the adoption of amendments to the constitution that would institutionalize political reform (Note No Sound in the Beginning) :






Price of Failure:

Part of His Majesty's King Abdullah II Message at the 1st National J Street Conference Gala Dinner - October 27, 2009 Washington, DC

Christian Amanpour Interviews King Abdullah of Jordan (ABC News –May 22, 2011):

(NOTE:To Watch Double Click Here)






Jordan’s Spring – Al Jazeera March 4th 2011:

Reforms aim to respond torecent massive protests in Jordan demanding a Genuine Constitutional Monarchy

Jordanians battle teen mariage(Al Jazeera):

Women rights activists in Jordan are trying to overturn a legal clause which allows girls as young as 15 to be married off. They say the teenage brides are missing out on education, and many suffer the consequences for the rest oftheir lives. Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from Amman, the Jordanian capital.

Suicides in Jordan peak (Al Jazeera):

The rate of suicide in Jordan has nearly doubled in the past three years. According to official figures there has been an 87 per cent increase in deaths by suicide in the last two years. This figure may be even higher as cultural norms and the fact that suicide is forbidden in Islam, cause many families to hide the real cause of death. Rising unemployment, an increasing gap between the rich and the poor and the social stigma of psychological disorder are said to be behind this issue. But Jordanian authorities refuse to admit that the situation has reached crisis point and this troubles social researchers who believe suicide has long been a neglected area of study. The country's health officials sayit's an alarming trend that can't be ignored any longer. AlJazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from Jordan.

Palestiniansin Jordan (Al Jazeera):

Israeli politicians have proposed making Jordan an alternative home for Palestinians as part of a Middle East peace deal. But many of Jordan's two million Palestinian refugees object to the plan and there appears little likelihood that Jordanian officials would agree.

Al Jazeera's Nisreen el-Shamayleh, reports from Jordan,on the Palestinians right to return and the reaction to the Israeli proposal.

Jordan's King Abdullah welcomes limited reform plans (bbc)

King Abdullah of Jordan has said proposals for limited reform of the constitution are a sign of political maturity among Jordanians.

The proposals, presented to the king on Sunday, include the limited transfer of some powers to parliament.

King Abdullah assigned a panel to draw up the reforms in April, as pro-democracy protests swept the region.

But activists say the 42 proposals do not go far enough and are demanding the right to elect the prime minister.

Both the prime minister and cabinet are currently appointed by the king. In June he promised to relinquish this right but warned that sudden change could lead to "chaos and unrest".

At a ceremony in Amman on Sunday, he said the "historic constitutional revisions reflect the high level of political maturity among Jordanians".

The measures would give parliament marginally more power, ensuring that ifthe Lower House is dissolved elections must be held within four months instead of the current two years.

Also among the proposals are for a constitutional court to be set up to oversee and safeguard legislation, and for a new independent commission to oversee elections.

The controversial military courts would only try terrorism and espionage cases andnot those involving finance and corruption.

The panel also recommended the lowering of the age limit for parliamentary candidates from 35 to 25, "to reinforce the role of youth in public and parliamentary life".


King Abdullah said he hoped the reforms would be passed by parliament within a month.
"We hope to institutionalise citizen activism and effective public participation in the legislative process as well as the formation of governments," he said.

But the BBC's Dale Gavlak in Amman said Jordan's young activists, who have been inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, want greater government accountability and new economic policies. They say the proposals tackle none of these issues.

"This is part of the government's gimmicks to block real reforms," 28-year-old electrician Wael Atout told the Associated Press news agency.

"The changes are insufficient - we said we want to be able to elect our prime ministers."

Jordan, a key ally of the US, has not experienced the sort of turmoil which has been seen in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain in recent months.

However there have been small protests, in which one person has died, calling for greater democracy and action on high unemployment and the rising cost of living.

Related Blogs:

Jordan's King Abdullah II announces sweeping reforms

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: Jordan's King Abdullah II takes You on a Royal Tour

Other Related Blogs:

Morocco vote to curb king's powers, abolishing death penalty

Morocco's King Mohammed VI allowing Female Imams to take charge

King Mohammed VI declares Morocco a constitutional monarchy

Abbas Milani Guest of Morocco’s Prince Moulay Hicham

Morocco's King Mohammed VI pledges constitutional reform

ROYALFORUM:Morocco's Steady Path Towards Democracy


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Jordan searches for answers to Arab Spring demands

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Jordan searches for answers (bbc)


BBC News, Amman 


King Abdullah of Jordan has managed to dampen down protests demanding reform and regime change as the Arab Spring revolts have erupted in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and across North Africa.

But political analysts are sceptical about whether Jordan will be able to realise the changes demanded by street protesters since January.

Jordanian demonstrators are calling for the election of the prime minister by popular vote, want to see corruption seriously tackled and unemployment - which tops 13% - alleviated.

Protests here have been smaller and mainly peaceful, with no calls for the king to be removed.




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Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood to boycott early elections

by Darius Kadivar on

Jordan Islamists to boycott poll (bbc)


Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood has said its political party will boycott this year's early parliamentary polls because of a lack of electoral reforms.

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Jordan king asks MPs to amend contested electoral law

by Darius Kadivar on

Jordan king asks MPs to amend contested electoral law - AFP

AFP - Jordan's King Abdullah II on Thursday ordered parliament to amend a controversial electoral law after opposition Islamists threatened to boycott general polls expected to be held by end of this year.

"The king asked parliament today to hold an extraordinary session early next month to amend some articles in the electoral law to help ensure wider public participation in the process," a palace statement said.

Under the new law, endorsed by MPs last week, voters can cast two ballots: one for individual candidates in their governorates and one for parties or coalitions nationwide.

But only 17 seats can be contested by party and coalition candidates.

"The new law should increase the number of these seats to help develop political life in the country," the king was quoted as saying in the statement, after a meeting with Prime Minster Fayez Tarawneh, Senate President Taher Masri and Lower House Speaker Abdelkarim Dughmi.

The law, which needs the king's approval to go into effect, has raised the number of parliamentary seats to 140 from 120, including an expanded quota for women to 15 from 12.

The powerful Muslim Brotherhood has described the law as "provocative," saying they plan to boycott elections expected to be held by the end of this year.

Calling on the king to reject the law, the Islamists said they were in talks with other political parties to form "shadow government and parliament," as analysts warned against "official rigging" of polls.

According to the constitution, elections should be organised every four years, but Jordan held early polls in 2010 after the king dissolved parliament.

The Islamists boycotted those elections in protest at constituency boundaries, saying they over-represented loyalist rural areas at the expense of urban areas seen as Islamist strongholds.

They have repeatedly demanded sweeping changes that would lead to a parliamentary system in which the premier would be elected rather than named by the king. 

Esfand Aashena

"Limited" reforms?!

by Esfand Aashena on

His father once brutally killed many Palestinians and eventually gave up on the West Bank as a Jordanian territory.  What Egypt did in Sinai and getting it back King Hussain couldn't do with West Bank.

I'm afraid like Bashar following in his father's footsteps and resorting to violence, Abdullah will follow in his father's steps and close the book even on the "limited" reform.

Can you have a "limited" pregnancy?! 

Everything is sacred