Politics of Jordan
Politics of Jordan takes place in a framework of a parliamentary
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

, whereby the Prime Minister of Jordan is head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, and of a multi-party system
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

. Jordan is a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 based on the constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 promulgated on January 8, 1952. As of 1 February 2011, Jordanian Prime Minister Samir Rifai resigned and King Abdullah asked Marouf Bakhit, a former prime minister, to form a new more democratic government.

Executive branch

|Abdullah II of Jordan
Abdullah II of Jordan
Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein is the reigning King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He ascended the throne on 7 February 1999 after the death of his father King Hussein. King Abdullah, whose mother is Princess Muna al-Hussein, is a member of the Hashemite family...

|7 February 1999
|Prime Minister
|Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh
Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh
Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh is the Prime Minister of Jordan. He was a judge at International Court of Justice beginning in 2000, and re-elected to serve another nine-year term on November 6, 2008.-Career:...

Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

|24 October 2011
Executive authority is vested in the king and his cabinet
Cabinet of Jordan
The Cabinet of Jordan is the chief executive body of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.- Current Cabinet :Sworn in 9 February 2011.- External links :*, Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

. The king signs, executes, and veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

es all laws. The king may also suspend or dissolve parliament, and shorten or lengthen the term of session. A veto by the king may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses of parliament at his discretion, most recently in November 2009. He appoints and may dismiss all judges by decree, approves amendment
Constitutional amendment
A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

s to the constitution, declares war
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

, and commands the armed forces. Cabinet decisions, court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

 judgments, and the national currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 are issued in his name. The Cabinet, led by a prime minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

, was formerly appointed by the king, but following the 2011 Jordanian protests
2011 Jordanian protests
The 2011 Jordanian protests are a series of protests occurring in Jordan in 2011, which resulted in the firing of the cabinet ministers of the government.Food inflation and salaries were a cause for resentment in the country....

, King Abdullah agreed to an elected cabinet. The cabinet is responsible to the Chamber of Deputies on matters of general policy and can be forced to resign by a two-thirds vote of "no confidence
Motion of no confidence
A motion of no confidence is a parliamentary motion whose passing would demonstrate to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in the appointed government.-Overview:Typically, when a parliament passes a vote of no...

" by that body.

Legislative branch

A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 power rests in the bicameral National Assembly. The National Assembly (Majlis al-Umma) has two chambers
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

. The Chamber of Deputies (Majlis al-Nuwaab) has 120 members, elected for a four year terms in single-seat constituencies with 12 seats reserved for women by a special electoral college. In addition 9 seats are reserved for Christians and 3 for Chechens/Circassians. While the Chamber of Deputies is elected by the people, its main legislative abilities are limited to approving, rejecting, or amending legislation with little power to initiate laws. The Assembly of Senators (Majlis al-Aayan) has 60 members appointed by the King for a 4-year term. The Assembly of Senators is responsible to the Chamber of Deputies and can be removed by a "vote of no confidence".

Blocs in the Jordanian parliament change with each parliamentary election and usually take the form of an extreme left bloc, a liberal bloc, a moderate bloc, a conservative bloc, and an extreme right bloc (the Islamic Action Front
Islamic Action Front
The Islamic Action Front is a political party in Jordan. It is the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan....


Judicial branch

The judiciary is completely independent from the other two branches of the government. The constitution provides for three categories of courts--civil (in this case meaning 'regular'), religious, and special. Regular courts consist of both civil and criminal varieties at the first level – First Instance or Conciliation Courts, second level – Appelette or Appeals Courts – and the Cassation Court which is the highest judicial authority in the kingdom. There are two types of religious courts: Sharia courts which enforce the provisions of Islamic law and civil status, and tribunals of other religious communities officially recognized in Jordan.

Political conditions

King Hussein
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

 ruled Jordan from 1953 to 1999, surviving a number of challenges to his rule, drawing on the loyalty of his military, and serving as a symbol of unity and stability for both the East Bank and Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 communities in Jordan. King Hussein ended martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 in 1991 and legalized
Legalization is the process of removing a legal prohibition against something which is currently not legal.Legalization is a process often applied to what are regarded, by those working towards legalization, as victimless crimes, of which one example is the consumption of illegal drugs .Those...

 political parties
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 in 1992. In 1989 and 1993, Jordan held free and fair parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

ary elections. Controversial changes in the election law led Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ist parties to boycott the 1997 elections.

King Abdullah II
Abdullah II of Jordan
Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein is the reigning King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He ascended the throne on 7 February 1999 after the death of his father King Hussein. King Abdullah, whose mother is Princess Muna al-Hussein, is a member of the Hashemite family...

 succeeded his father Hussein following the latter's death in February 1999. Abdullah moved quickly to reaffirm Jordan's peace treaty
Peace treaty
A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war between the parties...

 with Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and its relations with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Abdullah, during the first year in power, refocused the government's agenda on economic reform.

Jordan's continuing structural economic difficulties, burgeoning population, and more open political environment led to the emergence of a variety of political parties. Moving toward greater independence, Jordan's parliament has investigated corruption charges against several regime figures and has become the major forum in which differing political views, including those of political Islamists, are expressed.

On February 1st 2011, it was announced that King Abdullah had dismissed his government. This has been interpreted as a pre-emptive move in the context of the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution and unfolding events in nearby Egypt.


King Abdullah II and the Jordanian Government began the process of decentralization, with the Madaba
Madaba , is the capital city of Madaba Governorate of Jordan, which has a population of about 60,000. Madaba is the fifth most populous town in Jordan. It is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of The Holy Land...

 governate as the pilot project, on the regional level dividing the nation into three regions: North, Central, and South. The Greater Amman Municipality will be excluded from the plan but it will set up a similar decentralization process. Each region will have an elected council that will handle the political, social, legal, and economic affairs of its area. This decentralization process is part of Jordan's Democratization Program.


According to Transparency International
Transparency International
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide...

, Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 is one of the least corrupt countries in the Middle East. Jordan ranked 47th out of 180 nations in the Corruption Perceptions Index
Corruption Perceptions Index
Since 1995, Transparency International publishes the Corruption Perceptions Index annually ranking countries "by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys." The CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private...

. The Constitution of Jordan states that no member of Parliament can have any financial or business dealings with the government and no member of the royal family can be in the government. However, corruption remains a problem in Jordan despite progress. Corruption cases are examined by the Anti-Corruption Commission and then referred to the judiciary for legal action. Corruption in Jordan takes the form of nepotism
Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis , from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended....

, favouritism, and bribery
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or...


Administrative divisions

Administratively, Jordan is divided into twelve governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

ates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah), each headed by a governor appointed by the king. They are the sole authorities for all government departments and development projects in their respective areas:
  1. Ajlun
  2. Aqaba
    Aqaba is a coastal city in the far south of Jordan, the capital of Aqaba Governorate at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. Aqaba is best known today as a diving and beach resort, but industrial activity remains important...

  3. Balqa
    Balqa is one of the governorates of Jordan. It is located northwest of Amman, Jordan's capital.The governorate has the fourth largest population of the 12 governorates of Jordan, and is ranked 10th by Area...

  4. Karak
    Al Karak
    Karak is a city in Jordan that is known for the famous crusader castle Kerak. The castle is one of the three largest castles in the region, the other two being in Syria...

  5. Mafraq
    Mafraq is the capital city of Mafraq Governorate, Jordan, located 80 Km to the north from the Jordanian capital Amman in crossroad to Syria to the north and Iraq to the east. It has 58,954 inhabitants...

  6. Amman
    Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

  7. Tafilah
    At-Tafilah is a town with a population of 39,000 people in southern Jordan, located southwest of Amman. It is the capital of Tafilah Governorate. It is well-known for having green gardens which contain olive and fig trees, and grape-vines...

  8. Zarqa
    Az-Zarqāʔ is a city in Jordan located to the northeast of Amman. With a population of more than one million 1000,000. It is the country's second largest city after Amman. Zarqa is the capital of Zarqa Governorate . Its name means "the blue one".- Overview :Zarqa is Jordan's industrial centre, home...

  9. Irbid
    Irbid , known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela , is the capital and largest city of the Irbid Governorate. It also has the second largest metropolitan population in Jordan after Amman, with a population of around 660,000, and is located about 70 km north of Amman on the northern ridge of...

  10. Jerash
    Jerash, the Gerasa of Antiquity, is the capital and largest city of Jerash Governorate , which is situated in the north of Jordan, north of the capital Amman towards Syria...

  11. Ma'an
    Ma'an is a town in southern Jordan 218 km away from the capital Amman. It is the capital of Ma'an Governorate. Ma'an has a population of around 50,000. The city had a population of 22,989 in the 1992 census and is estimated as being about 50,000 as of 2007 according to the Ma'an Municipality...

  12. Madaba
    Madaba , is the capital city of Madaba Governorate of Jordan, which has a population of about 60,000. Madaba is the fifth most populous town in Jordan. It is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of The Holy Land...

International organization participation

International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

International Chamber of Commerce
The International Chamber of Commerce is the largest, most representative business organization in the world. Its hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 130 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise....


External links

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