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King endorses constitutional amendments

By JT - May 05,2016 - Last updated at May 05,2016

AMMAN — A Royal Decree was issued on Wednesday, endorsing the amendments to the Constitution for 2016, a Royal Court statement said.  The decree was issued in line with Article 31 of the Constitution and based on the decisions of the two houses of Parliament.  

The Senate on Monday passed the 2016 constitutional amendments by a sweeping majority as referred from the Lower House.

In a related development, the government on Wednesday referred six laws amended in accordance with the recent constitutional amendments to the Lower House, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

The House is expected to start discussing the draft laws next Sunday, which are the elections, independent elections commission, independence of the judiciary, gendarmerie, general intelligence and Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army officers’ service laws. 

The amendments to the six laws allow dual nationals to run for the elections, assume the presidency or become members of the Independent Elections Commission and the presidency of the Judicial Council. 

As reworded by the Council of Ministers, a new paragraph was added to Article 40 of the Constitution to read: “Despite what is stated in Paragraph A, the King shall exercise his powers individually and appoint the Crown Prince, the Regent, Senate president and members and members of the Constitutional Court, president of the Higher Judicial Council, the army’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff and the General Intelligence Department and Gendarmerie Department directors.”

The Cabinet also reworded Article 50 of the Constitution, removing the death of the prime minister as one of the cases when the government has to immediately resign.

The amendments also changed Article 96 of the Constitution, extending the term of the House speaker to two calendar years instead of one.

The Council of Ministers removed a paragraph from Article 75 of the Constitution under which persons with a dual nationality are banned from becoming MPs, senators, ministers or senior officials.

 

The amendments will go into effect after they are published in the Official Gazette.

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