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Srour elected Lower House speaker

Feb 10,2013 - Last updated at Feb 10,2013

AMMAN — In two rounds of elections, MPs on Sunday selected Deputy Saed Hayel Srour (Northern Badia District) as speaker of the House.

During the same session deputies present took the official oath as people’s representatives. 

The internal polls, which lasted for two hours, were conducted to select the House’s top man out of four candidates, after four other withdrew just before the polls began.

All four finalists were former MPs in past parliaments. Those who withdrew included Fawaz Zu’bi (Irbid, 4th District), Yousef Qorneh (Amman, 2nd District), Abdullah Obeidat (Irbid, 5th District) and Mohammad Badri (Aqaba). 

Mohammed Al Haj (Islamic Centrist Party) and Saed Srour won the first round, after they received 54 and 50 votes, respectively.

Their competitors Mustafa Shneikat (the People list) and Mahmoud Kharabsheh (Balqa, 1st District) received only 36 and 5 respectively.

In the second round of the election, which started immediately after the first stage, 80 deputies voted for Srour while 62 cast their votes for Haj; hence Srour was announced as speaker of the Lower House for this non-ordinary session, which is scheduled to conclude in October, when an ordinary session should start as stipulated in the Constitution.

Out of the 150-seat Chamber, 146 cast their votes, after one MP, Abdul Hadi Majali, had resigned and another, Mohammad Mahsiri (Amman, 2nd District), passed away. Two MPs were absent. 

Prior to the speakership election, the Senate held a meeting, immediately after His Majesty King Abdullah delivered the Speech from the Throne (see separate story).

The senate formed a committee of three members to draft a response to the King’s speech. The committee included, Khaled Karaki, Mohammed Wahsh and Samar Haj Hassan.

The senators elected Ali Abu Rubeiha as assistant to the Upper House’s president, Taher Masri, who delivered a speech in which he stressed the need to work as one team to deliver and to implement the “reform roadmap” that the King has referred to in his speech.  

Meanwhile, after he was elected by MPs, Lower House Speaker Srour said he would work on amending the House’s rules of procedure as a first step to push the reform forward.

“It is our priority to start the reform from our side; hence I will place this issue on top of my priorities,” he said in his first remarks as speaker.

Srour, a former interior minister, has served as speaker in six sessions in the 12th, 13th and 14th parliaments. 

Elections were also held to pick two deputies and two assistants to the speaker. 

Khalil Atiyeh (Amman, 1st District) and Tareq Khouri (Zarqa, 1st District) won the posts of first and second deputy speaker, respectively. 

MP Mohammad Radaideh (Irbid, 1st District) and Insaf Khawaldeh (Women’s Quota) were selected as first and second assistants, respectively.

FACT BOX

 

•Out of the 150-seat Chamber, 146 cast their votes

•80 deputies voted for Srour while 62 cast their votes for Haj

•Srour served as speaker in six sessions in the 12th, 13th and 14th parliaments

•Khalil Atiyeh (Amman, 1st District) and Tareq Khouri (Zarqa, 1st District) won the posts of first and second deputy speaker, respectively

•MP Mohammad Radaideh (Irbid, 1st District) and Insaf Khawaldeh (Women’s Quota) were selected as first and second assistants, respectively

•All the four finalists were former MPs in past parliaments

•Fawaz Zu’bi (Irbid, 4th District), Yousef Qorneh (Amman, 2nd District), Abdullah Obeidat (Irbid, 5th District) and Mohammad Badri (Aqaba) withdrew from the race

•The committee that drafted a response to the King’s speech included Khaled Karaki, Mohammed Wahsh and Samar Haj Hassan

•The senators elected Ali Abu Rubeiha as assistant to the Upper House’s president

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