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Jordan is a constitutional monarchy based on the constitution promulgated on January 8, 1952. Executive authority is vested in the king and his council of ministers. The king signs and executes all laws. His veto power may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the National Assembly. He appoints and may dismiss all judges by decree, approves amendments to the constitution, declares war, and commands the armed forces. Cabinet decisions, court judgments, and the national currency are issued in his name. The council of ministers, led by a prime minister, is appointed by the king, who may dismiss other cabinet members at the prime minister's request. 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" by that body.
Legislative power rests in the bicameral National Assembly. The 80-member Chamber of Deputies, elected by universal suffrage to a 4-year term, is subject to dissolution by the king. Of the 80 seats, 71 must go to Muslims and nine to Christians. The 40-member Senate is appointed by the king for an 8-year term.
The constitution provides for three categories of courts--civil, religious, and special. Administratively, Jordan is divided into eight governorates, 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.
King Hussein (الملك حسين) 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 communities in Jordan. King Hussein ended martial law in 1991 and legalized political parties in 1992. In 1989 and 1993, Jordan held free and fair parliamentary elections. Controversial changes in the election law led Islamist parties to boycott the 1997 elections.
King Abdullah II (الملك عبد الله الثانى) succeeded his father Hussein following the latter's death in February 1999. Abdullah moved quickly to reaffirm Jordan's peace treaty with Israel and its relations with the U.S. 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. While King Abdullah remains the ultimate authority in Jordan, the parliament plays an important role.
conventional long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
conventional short form: Jordan
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah (Arabic: المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية)
local short form: Al Urdun (Arabic: الأردنية)
Data code: JO
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: Amman (Arabic: أمان)
Administrative divisions: Jordan is divided into 12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah):
Independence: 25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
National holiday: Independence Day, 25 May (1946)
Constitution: 8 January 1952
Legal system: based on Islamic law and French codes; judicial review of legislative acts in a specially provided High Tribunal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal
chief of state: King ABDALLAH bin al Hussein (since 7 February 1999); Crown Prince HAMZAH bin al Hussein (half brother of the King, born 29 March 1980)
head of government: Prime Minister Abdur-Rauf RAWABDEH (since 4 March 1999)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch
bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of the Senate (a 40-member body appointed by the monarch from designated categories of public figures; members serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives (80 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 4 November 1997 (next to be held NA November 2001)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - National Constitutional Party 2, Arab Land Party 1, independents 75, other 2
note: the House of Representatives has been convened and dissolved by the monarch several times since 1974; in November 1989 the first parliamentary elections in 22 years were held
Judicial branch: Court of Cassation; Supreme Court (court of final appeal)
Political parties and leaders: Al-Ahrar (Freedom) Party [Dr. Ahmad ZO'BI, secretary general]; Arab Ba'th Progressive Party [Mahmoud al-MA'AYTAH, secretary general]; Arab Islamic Democratic Party (Doa'a) [Yousif ABU BAKR, secretary general]; Arab Jordanian Ansar Party [Muhammad MAJALI, secretary general]; Arab Land Party [Dr. Muhammad al-'ORAN, secretary general]; Democratic Party of the Left [Musa MA'AITAH, secretary general]; Islamic Action Front [Abd-al-Latif ARABIYAT, secretary general]; Jordanian Arab Constitutional Front Party [Milhem TELL, secretary general]; Jordanian Arab New Dawn Party [leader NA]; Jordanian Ba'th Arab Socialist Party [Tayseer al-HOMSI, secretary general]; Jordanian Communist Party [Ya'acoub ZAYADIN, secretary general]; Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'eed MUSTAPHA, secretary general]; Jordanian Labor Party [Muhammad KHATAYIBAH, secretary general]; Jordanian Peace Party [Dr. Shaher KHREIS, secretary general]; Jordanian People's Democratic Party or HASHD [Salem NAHHAS, secretary general]; Al-Mustaqbal (Future) Party [Suleiman 'ARAR, secretary general]; National Action Party or Haqq [Muhammad ZO'BI, secretary general]; National Constitutional Party [Abdul Hadi MAJALI, secretary general]; National Democratic Public Movement Party [Muhammad al-'AMER, secretary general]; Progressive Party [Na'el BARAKAT, secretary general]; Al-Umma (Nation) Party [Ahmad HNEIDI, secretary general]; The Generations [Hamad al-KHALAYLA, chairman]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Council of Professional Association Presidents [Ahmad al-QADIRI, chairman]; Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; Muslim Brotherhood [Abd-al-Majid DHUNAYBAT, secretary general]
International organization participation: ABEDA, ACC, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTAET, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of black (top), white, and green with a red isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bearing a small white seven-pointed star; the seven points on the star represent the seven fundamental laws of the Koran
- See also : Jordan