On Sunday, September 27, 2020, the Jordanian King Abdullah II dissolved the Parliament through royal decree as of Sunday and with another royal decree, a new Senate was appointed, headed by former Prime Minister Faisal Al Fayez. The country was already meant to have parliamentary elections organized on November 10th.
The royal decree for the dissolution stated the following:
“We, Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in accordance with the third paragraph of Article 34 of the Constitution, issue our will regarding the following: The House of Representatives shall be dissolved as of Sunday, corresponding to the 27th of September of the year 2020 AD”.
The assembly comprises 130 legislators, mainly pro-government tribal officials, businessmen and ex-security officials. According to journalists, the move is likely to be followed by a wider government shake-up to ward off popular disenchantment over economic hardship worsened by the economic blow dealt by the coronavirus pandemic and over allegations of official corruption. The main political opposition in the country comes from a party drawn from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, but it faces legal curbs on its activities.
Under Article 34 of the Constitution, the legal basis for the entire moves, the King has the power to dissolve, convene, inaugurate, adjourn, and prorogue Parliament. As such, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, the current government will have to resign within a week of the dissolution of the Lower House. The Prime Minister during whose term the Parliament is dissolved cannot form a new government.
Beforehand, on August 3rd, a royal decree was issued directing the concerned agencies to hold parliamentary elections in accordance with the provisions of law. Paragraph I of Article 34 of the Constitution stipulates that: “The King issues orders for the holding of elections to the House of Deputies in accordance with the provisions of law.” Therefore, the Independent Election Commission announced that the general election will be held on the above-mentioned date in November, at the end of the four-year mandate.
In Jordan, most powers reside within the hands of the king. Having this prerogative, King Abdullah appointed Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz in 2018 to defuse the biggest protests in years over tax increases pushed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce Jordan’s large public debt.