Jordan creates commission to examine reforms

Posted By: Pti
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Amman, Mar 15: Jordan's government has approved the creation of a 52-strong National Dialogue Committee charged with drawing up a new electoral law within three months, the official Petra news agency reported.

It said the committee, headed by Senate president Taher al-Masri, would work on "two amended laws on general elections and political parties." The new body will include former ministers, members of political parties, trade unionists, Islamists and writers, Petra said.

In a letter to Masri, King Abdullah II wished him and the panel "success in developing a productive political dialogue framework that enhances achievements and stability."

He reiterated the "importance to agree on a democratic elections law, paving the way for a parliament that represents all Jordanians and plays a key role in enhancing justice, transparency, fairness and the rule of law."

Inspired by the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, Jordanians have been demonstrating for nine weeks demanding general reforms.

Tensions between the government and Islamists escalated on Friday after the latter refused to take part in the national dialogue commission, claiming the regime was not serious about reform.

On Saturday, thousands of people rallied in support of the king, chanting "the people want to bring down political parties" and the opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF) "does not represent the Jordanian people."

The IAF has been calling for sweeping reforms, including an amended electoral law, leading to a parliamentary government and elected prime minister.


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