Lower House passes political parties bill

2. Lower House
(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday passed a new political parties bill, which reaffirms the right of Jordanians to establish and join parties and prohibits targeting people for their partisan and political affiliations and activism, Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.اضافة اعلان

According to the Constitution, the bill needs to be endorsed by the Senate and signed into law by the King before it takes full force.

The draft Political Parties Law of 2022 requires existing parties to reconcile their legal statuses in line with the new requirements within 18 months after the law comes into full force by holding a general assembly that meets the conditions of the founding conference as set forth in Article 10 of the law. Otherwise, the party will be dissolved.

With regard to the penal system, the new legislation authorizes the Board of Commissioners of the Independent Election Commission to file a request with the Court of First Instance to “suspend the party” if it does not correct its status after being notified thereof, and the 60-day period for correction has elapsed. In all cases, the bill stipulates that the party may not be dissolved except in accordance with its statute or under a final court decision.

According to the draft, the Court of First Instance has the jurisdiction to consider any party’s dissolution lawsuit filed by the Commission’s Board of Commissioners in cases where it is proven, under a criminal case, that the party is organizationally linked to an external entity, or has accepted funding in violation of the law, or in the event that the party fails to correct its situation as required by law.

The commission may also request the dissolution of a party if it is proven that it has violated any of Paragraphs (2) and (3) of Article (16) of the Constitution, regarding the right to form associations, trade unions and political parties.

Any party shall be dissolved by a court order if it is convicted of having incited demonstrations of an armed nature, forming organizations or groups aimed at undermining the regime or violating the constitution, and contributing directly or indirectly to supporting or promoting takfiri or terrorist organizations and groups.

According to the draft, anyone who directly or indirectly promotes an outlawed party shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of no less than one year and no more than five years, and a fine of no less than JD1,000 and not more than JD5,000.

Article 4 of the bill affirms the right to establish and join parties, and stipulates that no Jordanian, including university students, be targeted, directly or indirectly, or that their constitutional or legal rights be undermined, or be held accountable because of their party and political affiliation and activism.

According to the draft legislation, anyone who believes they have suffered moral or material harm as a result of party affiliation or political activism has the right to resort to a court and claim compensation for the damage incurred.

Under the bill, a bylaw will be issued setting the conditions for the parties’ access to financial support provided by the state, its amount, aspects and procedures for disbursement. The government has earmarked funds for political parties support in the 2022 general budget.

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