Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jordan king creates panel to review constitution

AMMAN — Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Tuesday asked a former prime minister to head a committee to review the constitution and consider amendments, in a bid to face growing demands for reforms.

The king asked Ahmad Lawzi and the 10-member committee, which includes other former premiers, to “look into constitutional amendments that would be suitable for Jordan in the present and future,” said the state-run Petra news agency.

“The panel should consider recommendations on constitutional amendments related to the electoral and parties’ laws,” he said in a letter sent to Lawzi.

King Abdullah said the committee “should do its utmost to constitutionally develop political life and help institute balance between state powers.

“Our dear people pin high hopes on the committee to come up with a comprehensive and reformist vision about the constitution,” the monarch said.

Jordan has been the scene of protests calling for political and economic reforms as well as the stamping out of corruption.

The powerful Islamist movement and other opposition groups have been demanding sweeping reforms, including a new electoral law that would lead to a parliamentary government and elected prime minister rather than appointed by the king.

Also, leftists and others have called for scrapping of amendments to the 1952 constitution, which was promulgated by King Abdullah’s grandfather, King Talal.

The document already has been amended 29 times, giving greater power to the monarch and weakening the legislature, experts say.

Khaleej Times

Mirror mirror on the wall


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