Jordanian opposition demands limits on king's powers
Jordan's opposition Muslim Brotherhood movement on Sunday called for a curtailment of the king's powers and indicated it might boycott the next general elections if its demands were not met, dpa reported.
"The Islamic movement will decide its political participation in the light of the response to these necessary demands that cannot be postponed," said Hamzeh Mansour, secretary general of the Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
One of these demands, Mansour said, called for a revision of the constitution to ensure that prime ministers be appointed from parties or parliamentary coalitions that have majorities in the lower house.
The king has so far appointed premiers and ministers at his discretion.
The lower house of parliament last week started a debate on the proposed amendments to the constitution that included the setting up of a constitutional court, the supervision of general elections by an independent panel, the trial of cabinet ministers by civil courts and strictly defining the authority given to governments to issue temporary laws.
"The government has missed the opportunity for adopting basic amendments in the country's political structure that makes the people the source of powers," Mansour said.
He also criticized the government for sending the proposed amendments to the lower house without prior consultation with the country's political and legal powers.
King Abdullah II set up a royal committee for the revision of the constitution in May at the height of demonstrations that swept Jordan, inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.