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New elections law might adopt party list system

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Prime Minister-designate Marouf Bakhit meets with Lower House Speaker Faisal Fayez at the Parliament on Wednesday (Petra photo)


By Khetam Malkawi
AMMAN - Prime Minister-designate Marouf Bakhit told lawmakers on Wednesday that a new elections law might adopt a proportional representation voting system and revisit the constituency map in a way that attracts political parties to actively take part in the elections.
Asked if there would be an imminent dismissal of Parliament, Bakhit said that it is premature to discuss such an issue, stressing that at the end of the day, it remains in the hands of the King, as stipulated by the Constitution.
He told heads and members of House blocs he met yesterday that political reforms would top the agenda of the new government in the making.
The premier-designate told the press at the Lower House following a meeting with the National Accord Parliamentary bloc that priority will be given to changes to be made to the elections, public gatherings, municipalities and access to information laws.
Bakhit concluded meetings with six groups and is scheduled to meet the seventh bloc and independent deputies today before announcing the makeup of his Cabinet. He announced Tuesday after His Majesty King Abdullah appointed him as premier that he would need three to four days of consultations before his second government takes the oath of office.
He told reporters yesterday that all segments of community will be involved in the dialogue about the Elections Law, starting with the Parliament, professional unions and political parties.
Asked if he would appoint lawmakers as members as ministers, Bakhit noted that “it is early to talk about this”.
“We should work on political, social and economic development in parallel,” the premier-designate said.
The National Accord bloc’s spokesperson, Deputy Hamad Hajaya (South Badia), told the press that the group urged Bakhit to appoint “patriotic figures accepted by the public” as ministers.
Hajaya noted that the prime minister-designate told them he will consider reducing the size of the Cabinet and consider a JD63 million plan to revive military service.
Other lawmakers quoted the premier-designate as vowing to refer to court corruption files uncovered during his 2007 government. He told Jordan TV the night before that no one will be immune against investigation into corruption cases, including himself.
Also yesterday, Bakhit met with Lower House Speaker Faisal Fayez and discussed means to enhance cooperation between the legislative and executive authorities, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Fayez called for finding a “genuine” relationship between the two authorities in order to overcome challenges facing the Kingdom and implement directives outlined in the Letter of Designation, according to Petra.
Earlier in the day, Bakhit met with Senate President Taher Masri as part of consultations regarding the government’s formation and underlined his commitment to implementing directives in the Letter of Designation to carry out comprehensive and genuine reforms.
Masri underscored the Senate’s commitment to cooperating with the new government and supporting its platform to best serve the interests of Jordanians.
He noted that many achievements were realised in Jordan during the past two decades, but there were also “failures”, stressing that there is a need to review all policies to serve the country and citizens.

3 February 2011
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