Jordanian MP censored by parliament after calling for king to be taxed

Jordanian MP censored by parliament after calling for king to be taxed
2 min read
17 January, 2023
The MP said that the king should pay property taxes like any other Jordanian citizen.
The country's lèse-majesté laws have been applied in the past to criticisms of the king. [Getty]

A Jordanian MP was censored by an official parliamentary motion on Monday after he questioned why Jordan's King Abdullah II does not pay taxes on land purchases or properties owned in the kingdom.

The MP, Salah Armouti, who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated "Islah" bloc, said yesterday that he "demanded an answer as to why the king is exempt from taxes, he is a citizen."

In response, the other MPs then voted to strike Armouti's question from the parliamentary record, with one MP asking, "What is this kind of question?"

"I asked about why the king is being exempt from taxes, which is not equal to other Jordanian citizens. There is no other country in the world that exempts its presidents from taxes," Armouti told The New Arab.

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"They deleted my comments, contrary to the constitution. It is the right of an MP to question any component of a [proposed law]," Armouti said.

The extent of King Abdullah's properties and private wealth is unknown and is considered a "red-line" topic for discussion in the public sphere.

In recent weeks, arrests of activists in Jordan have spiked, though many of them have not questioned the monarchy.

Economic grievances continue to be the centre of much political dissent, as Jordanians criticise the kingdom's inequality and worsening economic situation.