How to Amend the Jordanian Constitution

Fourteen deputies signed a petition on Wednesday calling for an amendment to an article in the Constitution on temporary laws.

Deputy Ali Abul Sukkar (Zarqa Second District) said the amendment would put an end to â??undermining of the Kingdom’s legislative authority.â?

The lawmakers opted for the amendment because of â??the large number of temporary laws introduced by successive governments, without a realistic need for temporary laws,â? according to the letter, which Abul Sukkar submitted to Lower House Speaker Abdul Hadi Majali.

The letter recommended reverting to the original article in the Constitution, â??which did not have loopholes that allow governments to pass their bills under the name of temporary laws,â? Abul Sukkar told The Jordan Times.

The letter cited the temporary press and publication law of 1998 as an example of the â??government’s abuse of the Constitution,â? Abul Sukkar said [article]

To put things in perspective…

Between the 1930’s till 1999 when HM King Hussein passed away, about 60 temporary laws were issued. That’s almost 70 years folks.

Between 1999 and 2005? Over 200 temporary laws. Thats about 6 years. Between 2001 and 2003 you had 230 laws.

Some of these laws improved Jordan, many of them dealt with the economy but as usual they would sneak a killer one under the radar every now and then and those would be laws that were designed and implemented to consolidate power and repress political freedoms. You just can’t explain some of them in any other context. There’s no justifiable spin (is there ever?).

The greatest hits include: (drumroll please)

…allocating more parliament seats to loyalist southern regions like kerak. Amman has one parliament member for every 52,255 voters, kerak has a parliament member for every 6,000 voters. and yes I am a keraki but my loyalties lie with the nation as a whole (just in case anyone argues that point)

…and who can forget the law that makes it illegal to publically criticize “friendly” nations which include the no-brainers such as the U.S., the U.K., and of course the one and only Israel. expect an invitation to a military court near you.

…not to mention the law that requires organizers of public events to notify the governate first and attain a permit 3 days in advance. actually im all for this one considering that these events tend to get out of hand in our part of the world considering the amount of emotion invested in them. nevertheless most of these permits are…as you might have already guessed…denied

…oh and of course the law which punishes reporters for writing stories too critical of the government; you can now get up to 3 years in prison for it if convicted.

The list is endless…I can’t go on…just too painful

Maybe we need a new constitution. Maybe we just fix this one. Do you love the one you’re with if you can’t be with the one you love?

Things that make you go hmm.

Of Interest:

Get to know your Constitutional…uhem…rights?


  • hmmm…

    too painful indeed ya Naseem! Months ago, I truly honestly believed that something positive was gonna come out of – guess what – the National Agenda. And when I look at everything that happened afterwards, the optimist in me feels betrayed, backstabbed, and I try not to reiterate what others used to say “it’s all talk, for PR consumption”

    Ok I am angry at this point, how bad does it have to get before people are willing to make the necessary changes to make it better??

Your Two Piasters: