An “Extended” instead of “Extraordinary” Term

By: Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Sat 7 May / May 2016. 10:22 PM
  • Fahed Khitan

This is the last week of the regular Representative term in Parliament, with two sessions scheduled as usual. Today’s session, Sunday, included the urgent amendment references by government to six laws, entailed those on multiple nationalities. These amendments are expected to be passed in the same session, given their inevitability in light of recent Constitutional Amendments. And there’s the second session; this Tuesday.

The government, with urgency as well, referred the Jordan Investment Fund bill to the Representatives; will they pass it?

It is hard to tell, and it is wrong to just carelessly pass such a crucial legislation under the pressure of time.

The government wants to get this bill ready before the first meeting of the Jordan Saudi Collaboration Council said to be scheduled for the end of May; what to do?

Here comes the idea of holding an extraordinary term for the House of Representatives early next month. But this does not serve the purposes of the government, especially since we are dawning on the arrival of the month of Ramadan, with the quorum hardly attainable then to hold sessions. Additionally, the State intends to hold parliamentary elections before the end of this year, and the House has to be dissolved sometime soon, accordingly.

The solution that service all purposes at hand, is the extension of the current term. The Constitution retains to the King’s authorities the capacity to extend a regular term up to three months, dispersible dissolvable to His convenience over this particular duration.

The government needs no more than two or three weeks to conclude the urgent legislation for the Investment Fund. And that is a sufficient duration for both houses of Parliament to review the Articles of the bill, thoroughly, before passing it.

The day before yesterday, Friday, “Al Ghad” published the complete article of the bill mentioned above, entailing no more than 16 Articles, with each demanding a ponderous stop, to the fact that we stand before the inception a supra-sovereign investment fund to run projects worth billions of Jordanian Dinars that is majorly decisive to the Kingdom’s economic future. Which is why it could not, should not, be passed by the Lower and Upper houses of Parliament in haste. This does not mean the bill should be postponed or obstructed, but that its articles should be given at least a week of thorough review.

Besides this particular bill, I do not think the government has any urgent legislative bills that require an extraordinary term, while —on the other hand, it is not suitable to arrive at the date of the next elections with the Representative House still in office. Therefore, extending the current regular term, instead of calling for an extraordinary term; especially since an extension guarantees the bill is passed before the expected reconvention of the Council, unlike the procedural elasticity of an extraordinary term to last weeks before instatement and approval.

While on the final sprints of a four-year race, with these steps being usually decisive and conclusive, the necessary time must be resourced and effectively managed to guarantee success and results, for us to begin for a new race, and a new stage of political and parliamentary life, in an economic era highlighted with grand projects that would hopefully pull us out of the bottle neck that has been suffocating Jordan in spite of all extreme financial and economic measures taken to overcome the situation.