His Majesty King Abdullah II RemarksOn the occasion of presenting the suggested constitutional amendments by the RoyalCommittee on Constitutional ReviewSunday, 14 August 2011The Royal Hashemite Court
Members of the Royal Committee on Constitutional Review,Ladies and gentlemen,Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you,Blessed be the souls of the noble Jordanians and the father of the Constitution, His Majestythe late King Talal, who wrote our great Constitution.The recommendations concerning provisions of our Constitution that have been presentedhere today to me is solid proof of Jordan's ability to revitalise itself and its legislation andapproach the future with a vision of social and political reform, the foundation of which iswider public participation, the separation between the branches of government and a clear definition of the responsibilities of each of these branches in a manner that truly reflects theHashemite tradition and good governance in state administration. I extend my thanks andappreciation to the president and members of the committee who carried out the constitutionalreview and suggested the amendments.In this context, we should point out the set of ideas and proposals presented by this respectedcommittee, in whose experience and knowledge we trust. These suggested amendmentsmaintain and enhance the balance among the powers though effective constitutionalmechanisms. And because we believe in the protection of the Constitution that we have swornto preserve, one of the major proposals is the establishment of a constitutional court to rule onthe constitutionality of legislation and consolidate the judiciary's role as the authority thatsafeguards the constitutionality of legislation.At the same time, we also wish to highlight the new form of relationship betweengovernments and Parliament in accordance with the proposals that ensure the balance between the government and the Lower House and by which the dissolution of the Lower House is tied to the immediate resignation of the government. The proposals also suggest thatgovernments can no longer issue temporary laws except in times of war and naturalcatastrophes and in cases of financial expenditures that cannot be postponed. In addition, it is proposed that an independent national commission oversee parliamentary elections, whilevesting in the judiciary the exclusive authority to look into electoral contestations and the trialof ministers.To reinforce the role of youth in public and parliamentary life, the minimum age of candidacyfor the Lower House has been lowered to 25 years, and thus, activism within political parties, professional associations and unions becomes an integral part of our national political culture.By establishing such liberties in the Constitution, we hope to institutionalise citizen activismand effective public participation in the legislative process as well as the formation of governments so that we can move from a phase of sloganeering to opening channels of activism and real life engagement in political parties, unions or youth movements. We need to practice this within the framework of an institutionalised political process that respects therotation of power through parliamentary governments and a modern election process in which political parties compete on the basis of national platforms.