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PM denies using office to push for appointing relatives

By Raed Omari - Apr 12,2016 - Last updated at Apr 12,2016

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and members of his Cabinet attend a Lower House session on Tuesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour on Tuesday emphasised that he never used his clout to push for the appointment of his relatives, again stressing that no single corrupt act has been committed during his premiership.  

Ensour’s remarks came during the Lower House’s oversight session in response to some MPs’ claims that he has used his influence to appoint his relatives and in-laws.

“Reducing the premier’s post to such a matter [appointments] brings a lot of damage to the country,” the prime minister said. “My family is always attacked.” 

“Should I close all opportunities in the face of my relatives…? Should my family leave the country until I complete my term in office?” he asked. 

Addressing House Speaker Atef Tarawneh, Ensour pledged to “resign” if the accusations of corruption that MPs raised prove to be true.

Also on Tuesday, the House postponed the vote on the recommendations of its financial committee on the Audit Bureau’s report for the years 2009 to 2012 until the government prepares a reply.

The House gave the government one week to prepare a reply on the measures it will take to deal with the violations listed in the committee’s notes on the report. 

The violations have to do with the use of public vehicles and appointments at public agencies, among other issues. 

For the first time in seven years, MPs discussed the Audit Bureau’s report in full at a Lower House session, after such an issue was conventionally the task of permanent committees.

In January of this year, the Law Interpretation Bureau ruled that the House cannot directly ask the attorney general to investigate violations listed in the Audit Bureau’s annual report.

 

The Law Interpretation Bureau said the Chamber can refer any violations to the prime minister to take the necessary measures; however, if a minister is involved in reported violations, the House is authorised to investigate, collect evidence and refer the minister to court.

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