PACE grants Jordan’s Parliament Partner for Democracy Status

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) decided today to grant the Jordanian Parliament Partner for Democracy Status, the fourth time that this status has been granted since being introduced in 2009.

Under this partnership, a six-member delegation appointed from among the democratically-elected members of the Jordanian Parliament will be able to take part in the work of the Assembly and its committees.

In a letter from the Speakers of the two chambers, the Jordanian Parliament emphasised that it shares the Council of Europe’s values: “a pluralist and gender parity-based democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

PACE welcomed Jordan’s commitment to “give priority to in-depth constitutional, institutional, political and legal reforms”. In addition, “the partner for democracy status provides an appropriate framework for the continuation of the reform process by the Jordanian Parliament,” noted the parliamentarians.

PACE likewise deemed it important that the Jordanians want to modernise and stabilise their political institutions so as to continue firmly on the path of democratic transformation, and this despite the instability of the region and at the borders of their country.

The resolution adopted on the basis of the report by Josette Durrieu (France, SOC) does, however, mention several areas where further progress is needed, in particular: continuing the constitutional reform; strengthening the role of the parliament and consolidating the separation of powers; implementing justice reform with a view to ensuring the independence and impartiality of the judiciary; applying the moratorium on executions that was established in 2006 and abolishing the death penalty; constitutionally guaranteeing equality between men and women; and adopting the Elections Act.

The Assembly will review, within two years, the progress achieved in implementing the political commitments entered into by the Jordanian Parliament and the aforementioned reforms.

“Through the partner for democracy status, we hope to benefit from your experience, in order to build the best possible democratic model, and successfully complete the reform process,” said Atef Tarawneh, Speaker of Jordan’s House of Representatives, addressing the Assembly.

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The Moroccan Parliament, the Palestinian National Council and the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan already have this status, designed to establish institutional co-operation with parliaments of non-member states in neighbouring regions wishing to benefit from the Assembly’s experience in democracy building and to participate in the political debate on common challenges which transcend European boundaries.