The “Arab Spring” and How the Opposition Disarms Itself: A View from Jordan

Jordan’s New Opposition and the Traps of Identity and Ambiguity

by Hisham Bustani, Jadaliyya

Apr 20 2011

Protesters took the streets of Amman, Jordan, on April 15, calling for governmental and constitutional reforms.

Protesters took the streets of Amman, Jordan, on Friday, calling for governmental and constitutional reforms.There are two major tribulations in Jordan from which all other issues stem.

The first is the autocratic authority that dominates the role of all “state institutions” (i.e., the Cabinet, the Parliament, and the Judiciary). This autocratic domination is legally sanctioned by the Jordanian constitution:

·      Article 26 states that “The Executive Power shall be vested in the King, who shall exercise his powers through his Ministers.”

·      Article 35 states that “The King appoints the Prime Minister and may dismiss him or accept his resignation. He appoints the Ministers; he also dismisses them or accepts their resignation, upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister.”

·      Article 34 states that “(i) The King issues orders for the holding of elections to the Chamber of Deputies in accordance with the provisions of the law; (ii) The King convenes the National Assembly, inaugurates, adjourns, and prorogues it in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution; (iii) The King may dissolve the Chamber of Deputies; (iv) The King may dissolve the Senate or relieve any Senator of his membership.”  Continue reading