Letter to former Prime Minister Ahmad Lozi on committee to do whatever necessary to improve political life in Jordan within the context of the Constitution

From King Abdallah II of Jordan
To Ahmad Lozi
RE: Committee to revisit Constitution
26 April 2011
Translated from Arabic

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate

In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

Your Excellency,

I extend to you an Arab Hashemite greeting full of appreciation and respect. I have come to know you as a Jordanian soldier who has exhibited dedication and loyalty in all the posts you have assumed.

We have been closely following the debates about the present and future of political action in Jordan, and about our pioneering constitutional system that is based on balance among the branches of authority, with the intention of entrenching the integrity, independence and harmony of the three branches. We have and still believe that the spirit of revival is what drives society’s progress and our vision for its future.

In the debating arena, some have called for revisiting amendments made to our Constitution; the final say concerning rights and duties and the most important document in our political and intellectual heritage that reflects our pioneering role in the region's Arab nationalist endeavour and human thought.

A variety of opinions regarding constitutional amendments have been expressed. Some favor a return to previous constitutional provisions and conditions and others have called for revising the letter and spirit of the Constitution as to advance performance, oversight and independence of the three branches of authority. The debate also saw some who have been influenced by the regional developments surrounding us, and so their notion of constitutional amendments is driven by a desire for fast-paced changes without an awareness of the nature of these amendments or a wise long-term vision for the political structure that is a prerequisite for implementing the changes in a way that both preserves diversity and pluralism in national political action and cements our parliamentary monarchy.

As we address Jordanian men and women today, voicing the need to handle the issue of constitutional amendments systematically and in-depth, we are keen to produce outcomes that enhance the distinguished performance of our political system to assert that our country is founded on a Hashemite heritage that has deep roots as the vanguard of constitutional reform. The Constitution, drafted during the reign of our grandfather His Majesty the late King Talal bin Abdullah, is a remarkable example of a comprehensive national vision.

Having stated that, I herby entrust your good self with chairing a royal committee that reviews the necessary constitutional amendments, comprised of figures known to our proud people as experts in legislative, constitutional and political affairs. Committee members should inspire public confidence and assure citizens that the Constitution is being examined by an able and trustworthy team.

This committee's mandate is to address every issue relative to the advancement of political life within the context of the Constitution, provided that it takes into consideration the recommendations to be made by the National Dialogue Committee with regards to constitutional amendments related to the elections and political parties laws. We emphasise here that the objective is to solidify the balance among authorities and to enrich partisan and parliamentary work in pursuit of a constitutional formula that enables Parliament to play its legislative and monitoring role efficiently and independently and the judiciary to be an independent body serving as the referee between the various authorities, agencies and parties. The judiciary should always remain a robust institution at all levels and in all forms of litigation.

Our citizens pin great hopes on this esteemed commission to present a vision of constitutional reform and more comprehensive formulas that may be proposed to the proper constitutional institutions so that the horizons of the Constitution and the quality of institutional political work may be elevated.

We have selected the following figures to be members of the Royal commission tasked with reviewing the articles of the Constitution and studying any constitutional amendments that are suitable for Jordan today and in the future.

  • His Excellency Ahmad Al-Lozi (president)
  • His Excellency Senate President Taher Masri (member)
  • His Excellency Lower House Speaker Faisal Fayez (member)
  • His Excellency Higher Judicial Council President Ratib Wazani (member)
  • His Excellency Fayez Tarawneh (member)
  • His Excellency Rajai Muasher (member)
  • His Excellency Saeed Tal (member)
  • His Excellency Taher Hikmat (member)
  • His Excellency Marwan Dudin (member)
  • His Excellency Riyadh Shakaa (member)

We hope that this will stimulate the process of national renewal in terms of structure, thought and performance and enhance our democratic process so as to build a new Jordan where the potential of its young, conscious and creative people is unleashed to achieve a standard of political performance that leads to wider public participation in decision and policy making, protects national accomplishments and defends freedom, justice, democracy and all the noble values that our people hold dear: tolerance, chivalry and respect for human rights.

May God keep Jordan a proud and free country and an Arab Hashemite haven and may He grant you and your colleagues success as you carry out this noble mission.

May God grant us success and support.

Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Amman, 26 April 2007