Jordan king dissolves parliament ahead of November elections

Jordan king dissolves parliament ahead of November elections, amid opposition crackdown
2 min read
28 September, 2020
There is growing popular anger at the economic situation in the kingdom.
Jordan's parliament is dominated by supporters of the king [Getty]

Jordan's King Abdullah II dissolved parliament on Sunday, ahead of November elections which comes amid a period of growing frustrations over economic conditions in the kingdom.

The royal decree issued by the monarch instructs the parliament's lower house to dissolve as of Sunday, while a new formation in the 65-member senate, Jordan's upper house, was also appointed.

"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 27 September of the year 2020 AD," the announcement read, according to Roya News.

The government, headed by technocrat Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz, must resign within one week of the announcement.

The November elections come amid a period of grim economic conditions and a clampdown on civil liberties.

Jordan's economy is set to shrink by 6 percent this year, after the government ordered a full lockdown in the kingdom in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Opposition politicians have accused the government of using the emergency law, enacted in March to deal with the corona crisis, to curb political freedoms.

Hundreds of teachers and union officials were arrested, and later released, in August after protests over the government's breaking of a pay deal, which was agreed last year after teachers' strikes.

A number of critics of the king and his government have also been detained.

In a bid to help the economic situation, Jordan is set to allow restaurants and cafes to begin dine-in services from this week, despite a recent rise in Covid-19 cases, which includes three new deaths announced on Monday.

Jordan's king has been accused of cracking down on dissent and cementing his power since the start of Arab Spring protests of 2011.

Jordan's parliament is dominated by supporters of the monarch, while the independence of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated party has been severely curtailed.

The new elections are scheduled to take place on 10 November.

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