Jordan king to give more powers to MPs
Jordan's King Abdullah II says he will give the country's lawmakers the authority to appoint cabinet ministers and choose a prime minister, Press TV reported.
The change, starting next year, will allow the elected 120-seat parliament to choose a prime minister, a decision which the king can veto, said the king's adviser Amjad Adaileh on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.
Adaileh added, if King Abdullah vetoes, parliament will search for a consensus with the king on an alternative candidate.
Under the current system, King Abdullah has absolute power to choose all the ministers and prime minister.
The Jordanian monarch termed the change part of a "comprehensive democratic transformation" and "political reform."
Jordan has witnessed months of demonstrations calling for King Abdullah to limit his powers, give more authority to the elected members of the parliament, and implement economic and political reforms necessary for a modern democratic state.
With the new move, the king is trying to quiet down protesters by giving lawmakers more say in the affairs of the state.
King Abdullah has offered concessions to end the protests and has called for an early election to be held before the end of 2011.
On Tuesday, the monarch appointed a retired army major general as his new palace chief, and instructed him to "meet people's needs."
"Your top priority should be to stay in constant touch with all Jordanians, listen to their concerns and meet people's demands," the king told him.
On Monday, the king swore in the new 30-member cabinet of Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh to pacify the protesters, who are inspired by successful revolutions that toppled authoritarian rulers in Tunisia and Egypt.