Jordan's King Abdullah forms committee to 'modernise' political system

Jordan's King Abdullah forms committee to 'modernise' political system
The Hashemite monarch has set up a 92-member committee, most of whose members are loyal to him, to propose parliamentary reforms.
2 min read
13 June, 2021
At present, Jordan is plunged in recession and employment is at record high [Anadolu Agency via Getty]

Jordan's King Abdullah has indicated he is seeking changes to the country's political system after a tribal politician called on his followers to challenge the royal.

The Hashemite monarch set up a 92-member committee to propose parliamentary reforms - and most of its member are loyal to him.

In a letter addressed to the committee chairman, ex-Prime Minister Samir Al Rifai, Abdullah said it was his intention to make a "qualitative changes in the political and parliamentarian life".

The committee has been tasked with "modernising" the political system, including legislation which concerns governance at a local level, as well as broadening involvement in decision-making processes.

The plans are yet to be elaborated on in detail but independent committees tasked with proposing reforms have been established on multiple occasions since Abdullah came to power in 1999, often during tumultuous times.

Jordan is currently plunged in recession and employment is at record high.

On Monday, the current session of parliament was suspended after Osama Al Ajarameh, a lawmaker from a region south of Amman made offensive comments about the royal, urging his tribal supporters to turn their backs on him.

Abdullah finds a powerful support base in Jordan's tribes, who fill the ranks of the security forces and government departments.

Some 16 tribe members were arrested in April for their links to Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, Abdullah's half-brother, who himself managed to build a support base among the tribes and allegedly led an attempted coup against the king earlier this year.

Abdullah had appointed Hamzah crown prince in 1999 in line with their father Hussein's dying wish, but in 2004 stripped him of the title and gave it to his own eldest son Hussein.