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Government faces uphill battle at House following price hikes

Session ended prematurely as MPs lose temper

By Raed Omari - Dec 04,2017 - Last updated at Dec 04,2017

MP Saddah Habashneh reacts at a House session where new fuel and electricity hikes were discussed on Sunday (Photo by Hassan Tamimi)

AMMAN — Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh called a halt to Sunday's session following a noisy protest by the majority of MPs present over the government's recent decision to hike the prices of electricity and fuel derivatives.

The lawmakers went rowdy right after Prime Minister Hani Mulki gave explanatory and defensive remarks about his government's decision to raise electricity tariffs. 

Mulki said that the fuel derivatives’ monthly pricing mechanism started in March 2008 and has been halted for some years and was then resumed in November 2012, while the new electricity tariffs went into effect on October 3, 2016.

He also explained that the new raise was not meant to generate additional income but as a compensation for the cost increase.

The premier said that, as the case has been since 2008, the increase or decrease in the prices of fuel derivatives and electric power is linked to the international oil prices, adding that, should the crude oil price per barrel exceed $100, the government will extend a subsidy to "those who deserve".

With that said, MPs began protesting loudly compelling Tarwaneh to abruptly end the session.

In the Chamber's corridors, some lawmakers said they will reject the new price hikes while others went further as threatening to move ahead with a no-confidence motion against the government if it insists on its decision.

A total of 100 deputies signed a memorandum on Sunday, linking their attendance of the House deliberations of the 2018 state budget law to a move by the government to reverse its decision to increase electricity and fuel derivatives prices.


The memo was signed following a meeting between the House Energy Committee and the government.

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