Country Listing

Jordan Table of Contents



Government: Constitution of 1952 grants king both executive and legislative powers. Between 1967 and 1989, King Hussein has ruled as almost absolute monarch. Bicameral legislature, National Assembly, consists of Senate appointed by king and popularly elected House of Representatives. In late 1989 first national election since 1967 held. National Assembly met in December 1989. In July 1988, government renounced claims to reassert sovereignty over West Bank, under Israeli military occupation since June 1967 War, and turned over responsibility for links with West Bank to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Subsequently, Jordan recognized PLO's declaration of independent Palestinian state in West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Politics: Political parties banned from 1957 to 1990; political groupings, in addition to existent Muslim Brotherhood, began to form for 1989 elections. Latent pressures for political participation, especially among Palestinians, who were underrepresented in top layers of narrowly based, Transjordaniandominated power structure.

Justice: Court system consisted of civil, religious, and special courts. Tribal law abolished in 1976. No jury system; judges decide matters of law and fact.

Administrative Divisions: Jordan divided into eight governorates or provinces. Governorates further subdivided into districts, subdistricts, municipalities, towns, and villages.

Foreign Affairs: Jordan traditionally maintained close relations with United States, Britain, and other Western countries. During 1980s, however, Jordan expanded relations with Soviet Union, while remaining strongly committed to pan-Arabism and closely aligned with countries such as Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

Data as of December 1989