Politics of Jordan: Wikis

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Jordan

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Politics and government of
Jordan



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Politics of Jordan takes place in a framework of a parliamentary monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister of Jordan is head of government, and of a multi-party system. Jordan is a constitutional monarchy based on the constitution promulgated on January 8, 1952.

Contents

Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
King Abdullah bin al Hussein 7 February 1999
Prime Minister Samir Rifai Independent 14 December 2009

Executive authority is vested in the king and his council of ministers. The king signs and executes all laws. His veto power may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the National Assembly. He appoints and may dismiss all judges by decree, approves amendments to the constitution, declares war, and commands the armed forces. Cabinet decisions, court judgments, and the national currency are issued in his name. The council of ministers, led by a prime minister, is appointed by the king, who may dismiss other cabinet members at the prime minister's request. The cabinet is responsible to the Chamber of Deputies on matters of general policy and can be forced to resign by a two-thirds vote of "no confidence" by that body.

Legislative branch

Legislative power rests in the bicameral National Assembly. The National Assembly (Majlis al-Umma) has two chambers. The Chamber of Deputies (Majlis al-Nuwaab) has 110 members, 104 elected for a four year term in single-seat constituencies and 6 female members by a special electoral college. Of the 110 seats, Christians are reserved 9 seats and Chechens/Circassians are reserved 3. The Assembly of Senators (Majlis al-Aayan) has 40 members appointed by the king for an 8-year term. The Assembly of Senators is responsible to the Chamber of Deputies and can be removed by a "vote of no confidence".

Blocs in the Jordanian parliament change with each parliamentary election they usual take the form of a extreme left bloc, a liberal bloc , a moderate bloc, a conservative bloc, and an extreme right bloc (the Islamic Action Front). Jordan is one of the only countries in the Arab World that recognizes an Islamic party as part of its political process, however this is due to the IAF's less radical approach to politics.

Political parties and elections

e • d  Summary of the 17 June 2003 Chamber of Deputies of Jordan election results
Parties % Seats
Independents of various tendencies 80 88
Islamic Action Front (Jabhat al-Amal al-Islami) 14.5 16
Seats allocated to women by a special electoral panel 5.5 6
Total 100.0 110
Sources: MEDEA CIA - The World Factbook

Judicial branch

The judiciary is completely independent from the other two branches of the government. The constitution provides for three categories of courts--civil (in this case meaning 'regular'), religious, and special. Regular courts consist of both civil and criminal varieties at the first level – First Instance or Conciliation Courts, second level – Appelette or Appeals Courts – and the Cassation Court which is the highest judicial authority in the kingdom. There are two types of religious courts: Sharia courts which enforce the provisions of Islamic law and civil status, and tribunals of other religious communities officially recognized in Jordan.

Political conditions

King Hussein ruled Jordan from 1953 to 1999, surviving a number of challenges to his rule, drawing on the loyalty of his military, and serving as a symbol of unity and stability for both the East Bank and Palestinian communities in Jordan. King Hussein ended martial law in 1991 and legalized political parties in 1992. In 1989 and 1993, Jordan held free and fair parliamentary elections. Controversial changes in the election law led Islamist parties to boycott the 1997 elections.

King Abdullah II succeeded his father Hussein following the latter's death in February 1999. Abdullah moved quickly to reaffirm Jordan's peace treaty with Israel and its relations with the United States. Abdullah, during the first year in power, refocused the government's agenda on economic reform.

Jordan's continuing structural economic difficulties, burgeoning population, and more open political environment led to the emergence of a variety of political parties. Moving toward greater independence, Jordan's parliament has investigated corruption charges against several regime figures and has become the major forum in which differing political views, including those of political Islamists, are expressed.

Decentralization

King Abdullah II and the Jordanian Government began the process of decentralization, with the Madaba governate as the pilot project, on the regional level dividing the nation into three regions: North, Central, and South. The Greater Amman Municipality will be excluded from the plan but it will set up a similar decentralization process. Each region will have an elected council that will handle the political, social, legal, and economic affairs of its area. This decentralization process is part of Jordan's Democratization Program.

Corruption

According to Transparency International, Jordan is one of the least corrupt countries in the Middle East as a result of firm legal action against corrupt officials. Jordan ranked 47th out of 180 nations in the Corruption Perceptions Index. The Constitution of Jordan states that no member of Parliament can have any financial or business dealings with the government and no member of the royal family can be in the government. However, corruption remains a problem in Jordan despite progress. Corruption cases are examined by the Anti-Corruption Commission and then referred to the judiciary for legal action. Corruption in Jordan takes the form of nepotism, favouritism, and bribery.

Administrative divisions

Administratively, Jordan is divided into twelve governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah), each headed by a governor appointed by the king. They are the sole authorities for all government departments and development projects in their respective areas:

  1. Ajlun
  2. Aqaba
  3. Balqa
  4. Karak
  5. Mafraq
  6. Amman
  7. Tafilah
  8. Zarqa
  9. Irbid
  10. Jerash
  11. Ma'an
  12. Madaba

International organization participation

ABEDA, ACC, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTAET, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

External links

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