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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

Jordan Enacts New Political Parties, Constitutional Court Laws
Amman, 6 June 2012

© Royal Hashemite Court Archives
His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday issued two Royal Decrees completing the promulgation process of Jordan’s new Political Parties and Constitutional Court Laws of 2012.
Jordan has now enacted three of four key political reform laws under a historic political reform process aimed at introducing parliamentary government after early elections at the end of the year.
Meeting with the speaker and members of the House of Deputies also on Wednesday, King Abdullah urged them to expedite the enactment of the elections law, the last and most significant piece in the political reform legislation package.
The House had earlier on Wednesday endorsed amendments made by the Senate to the Political Parties Law. The Constitutional Court Law was passed by the House on Sunday, also after the endorsement of amendments introduced by the Senate to the earlier draft.
With less than three weeks to the end of the current ordinary session of Parliament, King Abdullah met with law-makers at the Royal Hashemite Court to stress the importance of the time factor at this stage, which requires immediate work to meet the people’s expectations and aspirations.
“The new elections law should ensure fair representation and allow for utmost transparency,” the King told deputies.
The first key political reform law – The Independent Elections Commission Law of 2012 – entered into force in April. The first Independent Elections Commission in Jordan’s history was sworn in before His Majesty on 9 May 2012. The IEC is one of two new institutions created under wide-ranging and substantial constitutional amendments introduced in September 2011.
Following the meeting with His Majesty, Lower House Speaker Abdul Karim Dughmi said: “We have completed all reform laws, except for the elections law, which requires more time and deliberations because there is no consensus so far on a certain formula.” The King wants an elections law based on the broadest consensus and ensuring maximum public participation in political life, Dughmi added. “Parliament will do all it can to find a formula that will enjoy the widest possible consensus.”
In the final version of the Political Parties Law, both Houses agreed to set the minimum number of founding members of a party to 500 instead of 250, as endorsed previously by deputies. Under the new law, political parties should be established to embody the principles and values of citizenship, equality, democracy and respect of pluralism.
Authority to license political parties is no longer vested in the Interior Ministry, but in a committee headed by the Interior Minister, with the President of the Legislation and Opinion Bureau as vice-chair, and including a civil society representative, the general commissioner of the National Centre for Human Right, the secretary general of the Ministry of Justice and his Interior Ministry counterpart. 
The financially and administratively independent Constitutional Court is entrusted with overseeing the constitutionality of laws and by-laws, under the new law that will enter into force 120 days after its publication in the Official Gazette.