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Ushering in an inclusive political era

Oct 03,2021 - Last updated at Oct 03,2021

His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday received the Royal Committee to Modernise the Political System’s outcome report, reiterating that the democratic model Jordanians seek is an embodiment of the political will and national interest.

The committee’s bold and thoroughly studied recommendations lay the foundations for serious and effective party-based work and represent a home-grown roadmap for the desired political reform that Jordan and Jordanians deserve as the Kingdom enters its second centennial.

The recommendations, receiving support at highest levels, are vital and represent a historic turning point in the history of Jordan.

The proposed amendments pertain to political parties and election laws.

The King said the recommendations will be pivotal for tangible advancements in platform-based partisan parliamentary work.

The proposed recommendations, which need to be sent by the government to Parliament for endorsement, include constitutional changes that are instrumental in speeding up the political reform process.

Political parties need to rise up to the challenge of adopting effective programmes that encourage the silent majority to go to the polls and be effective partners in the decision-making process.

Parties need to win the hearts and minds of Jordanians through pushing for programmes that place the national interest and citizens’ concerns on top of all agendas and interests.

The recommendations are hoped to lead to a stronger performance by the Lower House, where political parties will have more representation and lead to parliamentary governments.

In his address, the King focused on youth and women, noting that their political, economic, and social empowerment is at the forefront of the modernisation process.

The recommendations lowered the age for election nomination from 30 to 25, a step seen as crucial for encouraging the overwhelming majority of young Jordanians to join parties.

The political parties draft law also allows university students to join political parties. More importantly, the proposed recommendations prohibit holding university students accountable and taking measures against them because of their political affiliations.

The proposed changes make use of technological trends by allowing people to join parties electronically, making it easier to reach out to Jordanians.

The new elections allocate 18 seats for women unlike the previous law, which stipulated the allocation of 15 seats for women in the Lower House of Parliament.

The new political parties’ draft law ushers in a new era where partisan parliamentary work needs to be more active in mobilising the public’s participation in Jordan’s parliamentary elections and formation of the government.

It is the responsibility of all Jordanians to move gradually yet steadily towards these much-awaited reforms.

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