Jordan's King Abdullah welcomes limited reforms

16 August 2011

Reforms due to be passed by parliament within one month

Jordan’s King Abdullah has welcomed proposals for limited reforms in an attempt to stave off protests.

Proposals, including the limited transfer of some powers to parliament, were presented to the king on 14 August.

King Abdullah authorised a committee to draw up the reforms in April in a bid to prevent anti-government protests.

The committee drew up 42 proposals in all, but protesters say that the proposals do not go far enough to address key issues, such as the right to elect the prime minister. In June, the King Abdullah said he would give up his powers to appoint a prime minister and cabinet (MEED 14:6:11).

The measures would give parliament more power, ensuring that if the lower house is dissolved then elections must be held within four months, rather than the current two years.

Other measures include a proposal for a constitutional court to be set up to oversee and safeguard legislation and for a new independent commission to oversee elections.

The committee also put forward 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 hopes the reforms would be passed by parliament within a month.

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