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Lower House to discuss draft decentralisation law

By Raed Omari - Nov 21,2015 - Last updated at Nov 21,2015

AMMAN — The Lower House is scheduled to hold two sessions on Sunday to discuss the draft decentralisation law, and elect the members and chairpersons of its permanent committees.

In October, His Majesty King Abdullah sent the 2015 decentralisation law back to Parliament, citing its incompatibility with the Constitutional Court’s interpretation of Article 121 of the Constitution.

In a statement listing the reasons for withholding his endorsement of the draft law, the King cited Paragraph A of Article 6 of the law concerning the establishment of governorate councils as incompatible with the Constitutional Court’s ruling.

In its interpretation of Article 121 of the Constitution, the court issued a ruling stipulating that any units or councils established under a law should be administratively and financially independent from the central government.

The Senate had rephrased Paragraph A of Article 6 to read: “Each governorate shall have a council called ‘governorate council’,” removing from the said provision a previous phrase stating that councils established under the law should enjoy complete financial and administrative independence.

In September, the two Houses of Parliament passed the 20-article decentralisation bill in a joint session after they disagreed twice on this provision and others. As the Constitutional Court’s opinion supported the deputies’ version, the Parliament’s final say was considered unconstitutional.

During Sunday’s session, MPs are expected to revisit Paragraph A of Article 6 of the reform-oriented law, and then pass it again and send it to the Senate for endorsement.

The Lower House will also refer the laws submitted by the government to its permanent committees for review, as per procedures.

In addition, MPs are scheduled to discuss two official letters from Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour informing the House of Abed Kharabsheh’s appointment as president of the Audit Bureau and Mustafa Barari’s as president of the Ombudsman Bureau.

 

Deputies will then start electing members and presidents of its 20 permanent committees.

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