May 08 2012
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Parliamentary elections to be held this year -- King
AMMAN -- His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday said parliamentary elections will be held before the end of this year, noting Jordan is forging ahead with its comprehensive reform process without any hesitation or reluctance.
"It must be clear to all that we are persistent on forging ahead with political reform and that we are seriously working to see parliamentary elections come through before the end of this year," the King said.
The King made the remark during a meeting with Lower House Speaker Abdul Karim Dughmi, members of the House's Permanent Bureau, and heads of the various parliamentary committees and blocs, according to a Royal Court statement.
Nevertheless, he pointed out that all constitutional amendments and laws achieved so far would be meaningless should they not lead to conducting parliamentary elections on the basis of transparency and integrity.
"I want to make it clear for everybody that we are being accurate and careful as we pursue reform because there is no turning back. We also seek to accomplish the achievement in this domain as fast as possible," he stressed.
In response to those who cast scepticism over the seriousness of the reform process, the King emphasised that all steps pertaining to reform will be materialised this year, leading up to parliamentary elections.
He expressed surprise over those whom he described as "theorists" who question the seriousness of the country's map for political reform.
Stressing that Jordan is forging ahead with its reform drive, he cited the formation of the Independent Elections Commission and the previous finalising of related pieces of legislation.
The Monarch noted that Jordan is now dealing with a "historic opportunity to determine its future this year", stressing that Parliament must perform its role as it should "at this crucial stage and make history".
Expressing hope to see the Lower House finalise the laws pertaining to political life very soon, he said: "We want, from the beginning of the summer, to see the people and to see you preparing for parliamentary elections."
On economic conditions, the Monarch said Jordan is facing difficult economic challenges, urging all to cooperate to resolve these problems.
Dughmi said the Lower House will fully cooperate with the government to endorse reform-related laws.
"What we have seen in terms of the government's agility and enthusiasm urges us to be equally active and enthusiastic in finalising the reform projects and everything that serves our people."
Dughmi explained that the draft political parties law will be put on the House agenda on Wednesday.
The House Legal Committee has completed its deliberations of the law on the Constitutional Court and the legislative item is listed on the House's agenda and will be discussed after the political parties bill is endorsed, he added.
© Jordan Times 2012
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