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Senate passes 2022 draft constitutional amendments

By JT - Jan 18,2022 - Last updated at Jan 18,2022

The Senate passed the draft 2022 constitutional amendments with its final structure on Tuesday (JT file photo)

AMMAN — The Senate on Tuesday passed the draft 2022 constitutional amendments with its final structure.


With 55 votes and a senator abstaining from voting, the Upper House approval was made after the Lower House passed amendments to Article 20 of the bill that modifies Article 75 of the Constitution as referred by the Senate.

The Senate returned the draft 2022 constitutional amendments to the Lower House after disagreeing with the deputies over an amendment to Article 75 of the Constitution, notably Article 20 of the bill that imposes restrictions on MPs’ businesses while in office.

The amendments allowed members of both chambers of parliament with ownership of no more than 5 per cent to conclude lease, sale, barter, or any other type of contract with the government, public institutions or government-owned or controlled companies while in office, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The MPs’ amendments to Articles 74 and 75 of the Constitution excluded cases in which a senator or a deputy, prior to membership, is a shareholder or partner with ownership of no more than 2 per cent, in addition to leases of land and property signed before membership.

Being approved by the two chambers, the draft 2022 constitutional amendments will be referred to His Majesty King Abdullah for ratification and publication in the Official Gazette.

The bill, the 14th amendment to the Jordanian Constitution since 1952, comprises 25 articles, besides the addition of the phrase “Jordanian women” to the title of the Second Chapter of the Constitution which now reads the “Rights and Duties of Jordanian Men and Women”, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.  

In other words, the change to the Constitution stipulates addressing Jordanian citizens in both the feminine and masculine tenses.

The Lower House rejected the government amendments to articles 32, 56, 59 and 86 of the Constitution, pertaining to the King's presidency of the National Security Council, allowing the trial of former ministers directly before a court, the requirement that 25 per cent of Chamber members shall agree when requesting the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, and allowing the trial of the current deputies or senators.

The amendments related to formation of the National Security Council stipulated that the council shall include the prime minister, defence minister, foreign minister, interior minister, army chief, heads of the security and intelligence departments, in addition to two members to be appointed by the King.

The council will convene in a state of necessity to address security, defence and foreign policy related issues, upon a Royal invitation with the attendance of the King or his deputy.

The amendments also lowered the age for running for the Lower House election from 30 to 25 years, provided that candidates meet the membership conditions stipulated in the Elections Law, with the aim of encouraging youth to participate in political life.

The Senate, during its session, also approved the amended Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) draft law of 2021 as referred by the Lower House, Petra added.

The amendments aim to unify the customs management, giving more powers to the Jordan Customs Department within the ASEZA borders to detect and investigate customs crimes and collect taxes, fees, fines and service duties.

The draft also grants the Income and Sales Tax Department new powers to audit, calculate and collect income and sales taxes, and the ASEZA tax.

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