Skip to main content

Jordan's king pushes to expand military, intelligence authority

Jordan’s King Abdullah has sparked controversy by pushing forward two constitutional amendments allowing him to appoint armed forces and intelligence chiefs.
Jordan's King Abdullah walks during the opening of the 17th Ordinary Session of Parliament in Amman November 3, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed (JORDAN - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS) - RTX14YCU

On Aug. 14, the Jordanian government announced that it would ask parliament to approve two constitutional amendments giving the king sole authority to appoint the head of the armed forces and director of the kingdom’s General Intelligence Department (GID). Almost three years ago, in October 2011, in response to public protests calling for political reforms, King Abdullah II had approved a number of constitutional amendments that curtailed some of his powers and allowed for the creation of a Constitutional Court and an Independent Elections Commission.

These reforms were hailed as a major step toward full constitutional monarchy. Jordan’s version of the Arab Spring was largely peaceful and bloodless, and Abdullah was able to project himself as a champion of political reforms that would lead, according to statements made in June 2011, to the formation of parliamentary governments. That promise remains to be fulfilled.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.