Jordan’s King Abdullah orders end to parliamentary session

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Jordan’s King Abdullah ordered an end to the current parliamentary session on Monday, a day after the legislature ousted a tribal deputy who called on his followers to defy the monarch’s authority.

The King decreed to “dissolve the extra-ordinary parliamentary cycle starting from the 10th of June,” the Royal Court said in a brief statement.

It was not immediately clear whether the move was procedural or specifically in response to the political episode that has rocked Jordan since the weekend.

Parliament convened a special session on Sunday in which it fired Osama Al Ajarmeh, an MP from Naour, an urban and farming region just south of Amman.

Footage on social media on Saturday showed Mr Al Ajarmeh purportedly making threatening remarks to his followers in Naour about the king and insulting the monarch.

In the footage Mr Al Ajarmeh is shown brandishing a sword and wearing a concealed gun holster.

Parliament speaker Abdulmunem Awadat told the legislature on Sunday that Mr Al Ajarmeh was fired after he made “insulting” comments about the king.

Security forces besieged on Sunday of Mr Al Ajarmeh’s supporters who gathered in Naour but stayed mostly away from them as some of his supporters fired guns in the air.

A resident of Naour told The National that the gatherings largely subsided on Monday, with security forces staying mostly on the edge of the region.

Lawlessness in the suburb and other areas on the outskirts of the capital has increased sharply in the last decade as tribes and clans and depend on the state for employment saw their lot worsen.

Jordan has been in recession since last year and unemployment is officially at a record 24 per cent. In the last decade the state has curbed hiring, with the public sector and security forces mostly dominated by members of the tribes.

The tribes are concentrated in the centre and south of the country and also make up the majority of parliament.

Jordan’s Hashemite monarch has depended on the tribes to consolidate power since Jordan was founded as the British protectorate of Transjordan 100 years ago.

A large proportion of the kingdom’s 10 million population, however, are of Palestinian origin.

A constitutional lawyer said the king’s decision to end the parliamentary cycle, which started in December, appeared more procedural than in relation to the episode involving Mr Al Ajarmeh.

He said parliament, which has little political power in Jordan convened in December in an extraordinary cycle following elections during the coronavirus.

“The current cycle was about to end anyway” he said.

The National

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