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Two Houses of Parliament reaffirm commitment to reform

By JT - Nov 29,2015 - Last updated at Nov 29,2015

His Majesty King Abdullah listens to the Senate's and Lower House's replies to the Speech from the Throne at Raghadan Palace on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — The two Houses of Parliament on Sunday submitted their replies to the Speech from the Throne, which His Majesty King Abdullah delivered on November 15, marking the beginning of the 17th Parliament’s ordinary session. 

In their replies, the Senate and the Lower House said the Speech from the Throne represents a roadmap for all Jordanians to develop and strengthen the country and achieve the envisioned reform and democratisation process.

The Speech from the Throne was "of profound implications, presenting well-defined guidelines for a prosperous Jordan that has been able to transform challenges into opportunities", Senate President Faisal Fayez said in the Upper House's reply. 

In his speech, the King underlined that Jordan has succeeded in turning challenges into opportunities by adopting a comprehensive roadmap seeking to achieve progress, sustainable development and a better future for Jordanians.

Fayez stressed that Jordan has demonstrated a unique model of security and stability in a region marred by violence and bloodshed primarily due to the solidarity between Jordanians and their leadership.

As part of its commitment to reforms and democracy, Fayez said the Upper House has passed the decentralisation and municipalities bills, which, as instructed by His Majesty, are centred around enhancing public participation in decision making.

Fayez also pledged swift efforts to endorse the draft elections law, which he described as the cornerstone of reform, explaining that senators’ reading of the law will focus on its contributions to enhancing  democracy and improving parliamentary work towards ultimately arriving at parliamentary governments.

Expressing appreciation for the King’s directives to the government to draft a law on the establishment of a Jordanian investment fund, Fayez pledged constant cooperation with the Lower House to achieve the project. 

“The time has come for the government to present draft legislation to your esteemed assembly that establishes a Jordanian investment fund. This fund should attract investments from banks, Arab sovereign wealth funds, private sector enterprises and individuals, targeting national developmental and pioneering projects that yield benefits to the national economy as well as those contributing to the fund,” the King said in his inauguration speech.

Presenting MPs’ replies, Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh said the King’s Speech from the Throne outlined the mechanism to achieve reforms and democracy, and upgrade Jordanians’ living conditions. 

Tarawneh added that Jordan has moved steadily and gradually towards achieving reforms depending on inclusive approaches that enabled the Kingdom to transform challenges into opportunities despite the surrounding dangers.

He also pledged that the House will work to endorse the draft elections law in a way that guarantees a just representation of all segments of society and ensures a strong boost to reform and democratisation.

Quoting His Majesty’s statement that improving citizens’ living conditions is the top priority, Tarawneh said it is time to liberate the national economy from all obstacles hindering its growth and prosperity, explaining that the move towards a self-sufficient economy requires better productivity tools and stronger public-private sectors partnerships. 

In the Speech from the Throne, the King stressed that economic projects the government seeks to implement are primarily centred around improving citizens’ living conditions, adding that achieving sustainable growth and a productive economy should be at the heart of any economic endeavour.

 

Tarawneh also commended the King’s unaltered positions on Palestine, Jerusalem, Syria and terror, pledging MPs’ full support to Jordan’s policy on regional and international issues. 

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