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Parliament

Dec 31,2015 - Last updated at Dec 31,2015

As part of its monitoring duties, the Lower House held several oversight sessions in 2015 during which it pressed the government to change some decisions mostly related to price hikes, including the increases to electricity tariffs, gas cylinders and car licensing fees

The two Houses of Parliament met in one joint session in January and in two in September to resolve their disagreement over a number of bills. The present 17th Parliament has convened six of the total 16 joint sessions held since 1947 

In March, Parliament passed the 2015 budget bill in addition to the bill governing the budget of independent state agencies. In June, Parliament passed the political parties law. The new law sets the number of founding members at 150, instead of 500, with the minimum age of membership eligibility lowered from 19 to 18 

In September, Parliament passed the 2011 Municipalities Law after the two Houses disagreed on some articles. The Senate rejected MPs' amendment to the draft law under which candidates for mayor should hold a bachelor's degree as the minimum academic requirement. Deputies then went back on their amendment 

In September, the government referred the draft elections law to the Lower House, removing from the keystone reform bill the longstanding one-person, one-vote system. The Lower House's Legal Committee has been holding meetings with citizens, political parties, professional associations and civil society organisations across the country to discuss the bill

In October, a Royal Decree was issued appointing Faisal Fayez as senate president, replacing Abdur-Rau’f S. Rawabdeh

In November, the Lower House removed a constitutional flaw over which His Majesty King Abdullah returned the 2015 draft decentralisation law to Parliament in October. The Senate endorsed the law as referred from the Lower House

 

In December, the government reversed decisions to increase the gas cylinder price from JD7 to JD7.5 and raise car licensing fees, under pressure from the Lower House, the media and the street. In the same month, newly elected MP Sameh Majali took the oath replacing his brother deputy Eteiwi Majali who passed away in October. Sameh Majali won Karak’s 2nd District by-election

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