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House, watchdog see ‘high productivity’ in 5 sessions held so far

By Raed Omari - May 03,2015 - Last updated at May 03,2015

AMMAN — The government has taken almost no action on most requests and demands MPs included in their official memorandums, Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh said Sunday.

Speaking to a press meeting on the House's achievements over the past two years, Tarawneh said that lawmakers have worked "relentlessly" on facilitating the government's mission with the 137 laws endorsed being the proof. 

Of the 80 memos MPs submitted to the government through the House, including one requesting a motion of no confidence, the government responded to only 28, Tarawneh added. 

Tarawneh also said that the Chamber has brainstormed with the government when to hold the next extraordinary session, adding that the latter wanted an earlier one on May 20.

"Anyway when to hold an extraordinary session is a matter solely decided by His Majesty King Abdullah."

A Royal Decree was issued on April 19 proroguing Parliament's ordinary session as of
May 2.

The speaker also expressed hope that the extraordinary session would include amendments to the House bylaws and code of conduct in addition to the decentralisation and municipalities law. 

Pledging relentless efforts by the House in support of the reform process, Tarawneh added that the key to reforms is a modern elections law totally not based on the longstanding one-person, one-vote formula.

On the House's achievements, Tarawneh also said that MPs endorsed 53 laws during the previous six-month ordinary session that saw 61 legislative and oversight meetings.

He also said that the government answered 445 of the total 546 questions raised by lawmakers.  

On the lack of quorum issue, the veteran lawmaker admitted that it caused disruption to House sessions, adding, however, that 95 per cent of the 61 sessions were uninterrupted and held in full compliance with the Chamber’s by-laws. 

In a related development, the Civil Coalition for Monitoring Parliamentary Elections (Rased) on Saturday said that the Lower House has accomplished “great legislative achievements” in its second ordinary session compared to previous sessions, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Rased said the House’s oversight performance declined compared to previous sessions, although the House had allocated a weekly session for monitoring. 

The report also showed that queries in the second ordinary session declined, as they amounted 762 questions in the first session. 

Law proposals presented by MPs in the second session, according to initial figures, reached eight proposals, while there had been 21 suggested laws in the House’s first session.

The report said that MPs and specialised committees presented around 75 to 80 memoranda in the second session, while a total of 150 memoranda were presented in the first ordinary session. 

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