“Abdullah II is set to consolidate his powers”

Jordan’s King Abdullah II is set to consolidate his powers through constitutional amendments that would give him sole constitutional control in areas of security, defence, foreign policy and the judiciary. The move, which triggered controversy in the past few days, began earlier this week with the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour submitting a bill to Parliament, requesting approval of several constitutional amendments. The proposed changes will grant the king absolute powers to appoint his crown prince, deputy king, the chief and members of the constitutional court and the head of the paramilitary police force. They also include lifting the ban on Jordanian citizens with duel nationalities from holding public office. Although Jordan is officially a constitutional monarchy, where the king enjoys wide powers granted to him by the constitution, all of the current major appointments and decisions require the recommendations and the signatures of the prime minister and certain ministers. With the constitutional amendments, the king would no longer need the government to recommend nominees, or the signature of ministers or the prime minister.

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