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Lawmakers vow full support for reform-oriented plans

Lower House, Senate leaders submit replies to Speech from Throne

By JT - Nov 20,2016 - Last updated at Nov 20,2016

His Majesty King Abdullah listens to a parliamentary reply to the Speech from the Throne in Amman on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — Both chambers of Parliament on Sunday submitted their replies to the Speech from the Throne, which His Majesty King Abdullah delivered on November 7, marking the beginning of the 18th Parliament’s ordinary session.

The lawmakers’ speeches were delivered in a ceremony held at Raghadan Palace, according to a Royal Court statement.

Senate President Faisal Al Fayez echoed remarks by the King, who stressed in his speech that no one is allowed to violate citizens' rights or compromise their dignity, as all citizens are equal in rights and obligations in the eye of the law.

The lawmaker added that the challenges facing modernisation, development and progress will be countered with “unwavering determination”, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

He underlined the Kingdom's ability to repel all evil powers, especially the khawarij (outlaws of Islam), who distort the image of Islam as a faith of tolerance and violate the sanctity of human life.

Fayez commended His Majesty’s efforts in defending Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif and other Islamic and Christian sites in Jerusalem, which resulted in a “fair” declaration by UNESCO that the entire area of Al Aqsa is exclusively an Islamic sanctuary that “has been, is and will always be under the Hashemite custodianship”.

He also expressed senators’ appreciation for King Abdullah’s keenness on developing a judiciary system that is “renowned for its integrity” in performing its duties in harmony with other authorities.

The Senate president noted that His Majesty’s decision to hold the parliamentary elections on its constitutional date was aimed at entrenching democracy and encouraging people’s engagement in political life.

The King’s directives to the government to hold the governorate  council and municipal elections reflect His Majesty’s eagerness to expand popular participation and achieve further reforms, Fayez added.

He reiterated the Upper House’s willingess to contribute to the formulation of genuine policies and programmes and set achievable goals to improve the performance of the national economy, realise sustainable development, increase growth rates and boost investments that will create jobs for the youth and enable them to improve their living conditions.

Meanwhile, Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh expressed his colleagues’ support for the reform process and highlighted the significance of modernisation as an indispensable process for the future of the country.

 He voiced the House’s willingness to cooperate with the government in enacting urgent pieces of legislation and amending existing ones.

He commended citizens’ level of alertness and loyalty to the country, and the efforts exerted by the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army and security agencies to maintain Jordan’s stability.

Tarawneh added that combating all current challenges with the utmost levels of determination is the responsibility of all, considering unity among Jordanians a “shield that protects the country from all threats”.

The speaker also noted that the Hashemite custodianship of holy sites in Jerusalem “obliges us to carry out our historical role in maintaining, protecting and supporting these sites”.

Regarding economy, Tarawneh stressed the Chamber’s support for any economic programme designed to achieve sustainable growth and serve the country’s national interests.

The comprehensive approach to reform requires a holistic view to push forward the reform process, he stressed, citing as landmarks in this process the Decentralisation Law, judicial reforms, efforts to strengthen the rule of law, human resources development and women empowerment, among others, Tarawneh said.

Royal family members and senior officials and officers attended the event.

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