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QCPS Workshop Discusses Role, Duties, Reform of Upper House of Parliament

2016-08-10

A workshop organised by Al Quds Centre for Political Studies (QCPS) discussed the role, duties and reform of the Upper House of Parliament, calling on the Senate to improve its relations with the media, research centres, political parties, and civil society organisations.
The workshop, themed, "The Senate Experiment in the International Context," brought together Jordanian senators, members of political parties, academics, and representatives of civil society organisations.
Hussein Abu Rumman, in charge of QCPS studies, presented a policy paper at the workshop examining means to reform and develop the structure and powers of the Senate as part of Jordan's overall reform drive, echoed in five discussion papers drafted by King Abdullah II.
The policy paper is based on a comparative study of 20 senates in countries with bicameral legislature. Its recommendations included:
̶ Decisions adopted jointly by the two chambers of parliament should be taken by absolute majority; not by majority of two-thirds of members present.
̶ Number of senators should be 30 percent less of that of lower house representatives.
̶ Reducing age of senate candidacy from 40 to 25.
̶ Restructuring the upper house whereby two-thirds of senators are picked by elected bodies in governorates, and a third is appointed by a royal decree, pursuant to the constitution.
̶ Forming two senate committees on development in governorates and on security and national defence.
̶ Boost women's representation in 2017 by 20 percent through the quota system.