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Jordan opposition vows to continue pressing for radical reforms

(Xinhua)

09:59, August 29, 2011

AMMAN, August. 28 (Xinhua) -- Jordan's largest opposition party, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), said on Sunday it will go ahead with its peaceful protests and demonstrations to demand radical reforms and constitutional amendments.

The IAF, which is the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, called for elected governments in Jordan on the basis of parliamentary majority rather than being appointed by the King.

"The policy of appointing governments does not enhance political life and political parties. Electing governments is a significant step towards democracy," IAF Secretary General Hamzah Mansour said in a press conference Sunday.

The challenges across the region and the developments in the Arab world require "genuine" reforms and amendments that enhance the role of the public in the political life, said Mansour.

The IAF also called for electing members of the Senate rather than being appointed by the king.

"The Senate is the second half of the legislative authority. It should be elected directly by people," Mansour said, adding that otherwise the Senate should be abolished.

Referring to the recently-developed constitutional amendments, the IAF said they do not reflect the will of Jordanians.

Mid August, a Royal committee formed by King Abdullah II of Jordan to review the constitution, presented proposed amendments to the Constitution that include the establishment of a constitutional court to rule on the constitutionality of legislation and consolidate the judiciary's role as the authority that safeguards the constitutionality of legislation.

Governments can no longer issue temporary laws except in times of war and natural catastrophes and in cases of financial expenditures that cannot be postponed, under the new amendments.

However, the amendments made no clear reference to a change in the mechanism of forming governments in the country although several opposition groups in Jordan have been calling for changing the mechanism by allowing the election of governments.

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