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Jordan's King Vows Democratic Reforms

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TEHRAN, June 13 (ICANA) – Jordan's King Abdullah II has claimed commitment to democratic reforms in the country that would lead to “a parliament with active political party representation.”
Monday, June 13, 2011 6:36:52 PM
Jordan's King Vows Democratic Reforms

Speaking in a televised address to the nation on Sunday, King Abdullah said he backed a new electoral law proposed by a government-appointed panel that would allow for a cabinet to be elected by a parliamentary majority rather than being selected by him, Reuters reported.

"We hope these recommendations ensure a modern electoral law that leads to a parliament that is representative of all Jordanians," he said in an address marking the 12th anniversary of his despotic rule.

Last week, the government put forward proposals that apparently ensure dominance of rural and tribal areas over large cities, including the capital Amman, which are considered the opposition strongholds.

However, the Jordanian opposition has expressed disappointment over the “limited nature” of the reforms that came after weeks of street protests in Jordan earlier this year, calling for political changes.

Major opposition groups in Jordan accuse government authorities of resisting changes, saying political freedoms in the country have been eroded in recent years.

The Jordanian king has been facing broad pressures to institute reforms and relinquish his extensive powers, which include appointing cabinet ministers and dissolving the parliament at will.

Calling for “empowered legislature and amendments to the constitution,” King Abdullah asserted that Jordanians should be "aware of the difference between the required democratic transformations and achievable ones on the one hand, and the risks of chaos" on the other.

On Friday, thousands of Jordanians took to the streets across the country to protest against the government's failure to fight corruption and institute reforms. Protesters have been demanding political and economic reforms and an end to corruption since January.

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