Jordan sets 3-month deadline for political reforms

March 16, 2011 - 0:0

AMMAN (Agencies) — Jordan’s king has set a three-month deadline for agreement on political reforms.

Abdullah II says a 53-member committee with government officials and opposition leaders will draft new laws for parliamentary elections and political parties — key demands in 11 weeks of protests, AP reported.
Powerful Islamist opposition and their leftist allies also call for dissolving parliament and for the prime minister to be elected instead of appointed by the king.
Abdullah said the new laws should produce a parliament where all Jordanians are “fairly represented,” fostering “justice and the rule of law.”
The new body will include former ministers, members of political parties, trade unionists, Islamists and writers.
A Muslim Brotherhood leader in Jordan, Abdul Latif Arabiyat, said Tuesday he would not take part unless parliament is dissolved and a prime minister is elected from a parliamentary majority, AFP reported. Inspired by the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, Jordanians have been demonstrating for nine weeks demanding general reforms.
Tensions between the government and Islamists escalated on Friday after the latter refused to take part in the national dialogue commission, claiming the regime was not serious about reform.
The opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF) has been calling for sweeping reforms, including an amended electoral law, leading to a parliamentary government and elected prime minister.