Opposition Groups File Lawsuit against Jordanian Gov’t over Temporary Laws

Published September 15th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Opposition parties have filed a lawsuit against the Jordanian government, charging that its issuance of a temporary elections law is unconstitutional, according to the Jordan Times.  

"We registered our [challenge] at the Higher Court of Justice," said Salem Nahhas, secretary general of the leftist Jordanian People's Democratic Party.  

Nahhas is a member of the Higher Coordination Committee, which groups representatives of 17 opposition parties.  

The Higher Court of Justice is expected to decide by Sunday whether to accept or reject the case, said the paper.  

The parties' charge is based on their argument that there was "no emergency circumstance" warranting the enactment of a temporary law on elections.  

The Constitution allows the executive branch to issue temporary laws in the absence of Parliament provided they fall under a state of emergency.  

Meanwhile, political activists have said the Islamic Action Front (IAF) plans to sue the government over the two-month-old merger process of the country's 328 municipalities.  

"We asked our legal committee to file a suit and we expect to take the government to court by early next week," said IAF Secretary General Abdul Latif Arabiyat.  

In August, the Islamic group instructed its members who were elected mayors under the previous Municipalities Law to resign from their posts in protest of a government decision to merge municipalities, traditionally a stronghold for the Islamists and tribal leaders.  

The movement believes that the government action was aimed at undermining its influence at the grassroots level, according to the paper.  

The authorities have said the mergers were necessary to improve municipal services and to reverse the trend of dwindling revenues and the accumulation of debts by the municipalities.  

In related news, the Jordan Bar Association has moved ahead with plans to contest a temporary law on public gatherings that was passed last month.  

Over the past two months, the government has issued at least 10 temporary laws governing elections, the State Security Court, education, public gatherings and other domains – Albawaba.com  


© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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