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‘Only 27 MPs out of 130 attended all Lower House sessions in its first 100 days’

Chamber endorsed eight laws, rejected two bills — report

By JT - Mar 01,2017 - Last updated at Mar 01,2017

Lawmakers attend a Lower House session on Tuesday (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — Only 27 deputies out of a total of 130 Lower House members attended all the Chamber’s sessions in its first 100 days, a local report said on Wednesday.

The Civil Coalition for Monitoring Elections and the Performance of Elected Councils (Rased) detected 341 cases of absence during the examined 100 days, with an average of 10 cases for each work day.

Four MPs did not attend sessions for more than 10 workdays, while 13 deputies were absent for five to nine days, Rased said in the report, carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The 18th Lower House held 14 sessions over 36 workdays, 31 days of which were for legislation and five for oversight.

The Chamber endorsed eight laws, comprising six draft laws, a law amending a previous one and a temporary law referred back from the Senate.

During the same period, the House also rejected two draft laws.

As for blocs, the Justice and Wifaq (national accord) blocs have the biggest number of deputies, 24 each, which equals 18.5 per cent of the total number of 130 MPs.

Watan and Democracy blocs have 19 members each, amounting to 14.6 per cent of the House, Rased said, adding that Reform and Tajdid (renewal) were the smallest blocs in terms of members, 14 each, at a percentage of 10.8 per cent.

In the House’s first 100 days, 60 MPs (46 per cent) presented questions to the government, compared to 84 MPs of the 150-strong 17th Lower House (56 per cent), Rased said. 

The report also showed that 69 deputies of the 18th Chamber have never presented any question to the government in the first 100 days, according to Petra.

Rased added that 65.4 per cent of the MPs’ 454 questions have been answered, noting that the coalition monitored deputies’ questions until February 1, and the legal period for the government to answer questions is 14 days.

The monitoring group said the government answered 74.7 per cent of questions after the end of the 14-day period, and that only five MPs presented 182 questions, amounting to 40 per cent of the total questions.

Also during the surveyed period, MPs submitted 61 memoranda, only 25 of which were answered. Fourteen of the total memos were presented by permanent committees, 43 by groups of MPs and four by individual deputies. 

Rased recommended prioritising legislative affairs, especially since the Chamber is scheduled to discuss several reform-related laws.

 

The coalition also urged permanent committees to increase meetings dedicated for legislation.

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