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King appoints new commission for political reform in Jordan

Jordan’s King Abdullah has formed a committee to revise two main pieces of legislation related to the political life in the kingdom, but activists are skeptical about the prospects for change.
Thousands of Jordanians hold a giant national flag during a demonstration to demand regime reforms, a day after Prime Minister Maaruf Bakhit rejected calls for a constitutional monarchy, March 4, 2011 in Amman, Jordan, March 4, 2011.

There is a sense of deja vu in Jordan following a royal order June 10 asking former Prime Minister Samir Rifai to chair a 92-member committee entrusted with modernizing the country’s political system that will focus on presenting an election and political parties draft laws by November that would then be passed by the government and sent to parliament for a vote.

For years, political parties and voters have been calling for replacing the current single-vote election system, which they blame for producing weak and submissive legislatures. The single vote system was adopted back in the mid-1990s so as to weaken the Islamists’ chances of forming sizeable opposition blocs.

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