JORDAN, Elections and Parliament

The National Assembly of Jordan (Al Majlis al-Umma), has two chambers: the House of Deputies (Al Majlis Al Nuwaab) and the Upper House, or Royal Council (Al Majlis Al Aayan).

1) The House of Deputies

  • Number of seats: 110 (6 seats are reserved for women, 9 for 38Christians and 3 for 756Circassians)
  • Term of legislature: 4 years
  • Required age for voting: 18
  • Required age for membership: 30
  • Constituencies: 45

During the latter 1970s and early 1980s, the Jordanian Parliament was suspended and legislative powers reverted to the executive branch. An appointed National Consultative Council was created to advise and support the executive (1978-1984). The 9th House of Representatives restarted it works in 1984 and ruled until 1989 elections. Political parties were still illegal and candidates run without official party affiliation (though in many cases this was popularly known). A new Political Parties Law was issued in 1992 and political parties were legalised.

Legislative elections 1997

2) The Upper House

  • Number of seats: 55
  • Term of legislature: 4 years
  • Required age for membership: 40

The 55 Senators are appointed by the King. (the number of Senators can not be more than half of the deputies. In the previous legislature they were numbered 40).

The last renewal of the Senate took place in Noovember 2003. By a Royal decree, King Abdullah appointed the new 55 members (including 4 women) and the spokesman of the House, Zeid Rifai, who had been on the post in the previous Council.

THE EXECUTIVE

The King, exercises the executive authority by appointing the Prime Minister and the ministers. According to the Constitution, the Government supervising the elections, has to resign afterwards. The King has the option of appointing the same Prime Minister or choosing a new candidate. The Lower House has to confirm the Cabinet. If the Parliament votes against the Cabinet, or against an individual minister, this has to resign.
According to the Constitution, the government that supervises elections has to resign afterwards. The King, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, also appoints the members of the Upper House and authorises the appointment and dismissal of judges, regional governors and the mayor of Amman.