This paper provides an examination of the new Political Parties Act, and its effects on the partisan life, in the light of its current realities and past experiences. In addition to such Act's implications for the future of the parties' participation in the near term, within an integrated context of the constitutional amendments and changes in the laws that govern the political life, where it is intended by such laws and amendments to carry on shaping a modern political arena, that gradually make a progress towards parliamentary governments.

by Dr. Ziad Abdalla Al- Ayasreh
  • Publisher – STRATEGICS
  • Release Date – Mar 23, 2022


Jordan's orientation to modernize the political life, after the constitutional amendments came into force, followed by the recent adoption of the Political Parties Act, while pending the completion of the Elections Act in the near future, constitutes a hierarchical ranking in the sequence of realizing and promulgating such laws. Thus, the next phase, in its constitutional contexts, which are governing the political life, is complete. It needs to be enforced in order to establish a new Jordanian political reality, in which the desired parliamentary governments will be achieved, even relatively, in the years to come.

Aside from going into the details and articles of the new Act of Political Parties 2022, this Act introduced new amendments that different from the previous laws, in terms of the party's definition, the basic foundations of what the establishment of parties are, the organization of their mechanism, and programs of work. In addition to other unprecedented modernizations and additions, as the law, in its new version, will contribute to changing the perception in society, that the party's impact and political practice are undesirable.

And thus, while currently diagnosing the Jordanian partisan life and the enacting of the new Political Parties Act, this paper comes with a reading of this Act, in which the form of the Act and what new aspects it has, as well as its most important effects and implications on political life in Jordan, and its implications for Jordanian partisan work. Perhaps the presented issue herein is not only such Act. But such issue is also prominent in terms of how serious the parties are, how effective and adapting they are to the new political transformations in the country, in regard to the national action based on the Constitution, in addition to how to keep up with the modernization of political life, based on many considerations and pillars-aspects, integrated together to shape the political landscape in general. 

The New Act and Its Amendments

The legal reviews, governing the work and practices of the parties, constituted a method of Jordanian political action, in which a series of amendments, additions to the new Act of Political Parties, and related to the Cota and how effective the parties are in the draft Electoral Act. they are as follows:

  • Perhaps one of the most important amendments in the Election Act draft is the adoption of a closed party general list, with 41 parliamentary seats at the national level. This list will enter political parties in the middle of the political game, with the aim of qualifying them to become more effective in the formation of parliamentary governments in the future.
  • In order to promote the participation of young people and women, the Party Act stipulated that the participation rate of young people and women should not be less than 10% of the founders in the 18-35 age group. In addition, among the founders there should be persons with disabilities, with emphasis that the participation rate of women and young people should be increased to 20% within three years.
  • The Act also stipulated that the number of applicants to constitute a party should be 300 individuals, and that the registration procedures should be completed within one year as of the Act would come into force, with no less than 1,000 party founders from at least six provinces, where they should be minimum 30 persons from each governorate.
  • The Act also included a new addition, in its clear and explicit indication that no citizen may be subjected, or his rights may be violated due to his partisan affiliation. The same is true for his relatives. In the event of such subjection, the courts and the {Ministry of} Finance may be appealed to compensate against such material and moral damage.
  • The Act also added articles, prohibiting subjecting student, who are members of the party, due to party and political affiliation and activity, whether in universities, institutes, or higher education institutions.
  • The Act also ensured that a political party is not to be dissolved but only by a judicial decision, and in specific cases, so that the institutional entities of political parties would be immune, and could only be compromised by a decision of the judiciary.
  • In remarkable amendments to the Act, the Act bill authorized a party to establish political relations with other internal parties, external parties, or with international political organizations and parties. Stipulated that such party would comply with the provisions of the Acts of the State, so that such relations may not pose an organizational threat to those political organizations and unions.
  • The Act also authorized accepting cash, real, and financial donations to a party, from the natural and legal Jordanian persons, as party expenditures, which can be excluded from the funds under the general income tax. A provision in the state budget allocates a fund to support parties from public treasury funds, within a special system issued to this purpose.
  • Among the main amendments contained in the Parties Act, are also the transfer of political parties' registration supervision to the Independent Authority for Elections, and the appointment of a specialized commissioner to follow up on all political parties.


Reasons and Need for a New Political Parties Act

Enacting of the Act's bill comes to the expected role that parties are to play in the Jordanian political life, in order to express the positions and trends of Jordanians, and also to motivate them to participate. Since the political party work is not characterized by the required performance and form in the past years, the Act came with all the new modernizations and additions it has, including the reasons and needs required by this Act, we can mention the following:

1. The process of modernization and promoting of political work, and the consensus present in it among all political, social, and economic forces and actors on Jordan's urgent need to achieve it, and the importance of developing all national and social interactions and relations, due to many economic challenges to which Jordan was and is facing, besides the pressure exerted on it politically and economically in the face of its national positions on the Palestinian issue, entirety came in the contexts of national dialogues absence between the different political and social forces, not to forget the successive governments, the matter which created a gap, and a decline in public political action.

2. With the current developments in the region, the need for greater political participation has become important. Achieving this requires political modernization where necessary, in order to create active national, political, and social actors and forces to meet the challenges facing Jordan. In addition to establish a Jordanian political future that future generations will become accustomed to, within a dialogue that supports peace and community security.

3. The new Act comes in the context of "reluctance of citizens, especially young people and women" phenomenon in all the contents political party work. The Jordanian people's view of political parties, in general, continues to be marred by a lack of trust, due to the presence of the negative historical experience of the party's Jordanian mentality. This caused banning and chasing parties before their return in 1992, in addition to the lack of popular conviction in the feasibility of political party work, as a tool for active political participation. In particular, the Jordanian public opinion's view and convictions, regarding forming governments and electing parliaments in Jordan, makes traditional frameworks be a central focus and guaranteed channels, more effective than party and political work.

3. On the other hand, the need for a new law for political parties emerged, in a tendency towards the importance of deepening perceiving them as effective and responsible national institutions, while changing the traditional pattern of people's thinking concerning the political parties. Accordingly, this would ensure extensive amendments and modernizations, that encourage and unlock the energies of young people, in order to engage in parties, political work, and political participation, in addition to qualify them for general elections, as well as for an actively participation in building the future of their motherland.

4. Thus, with all that has been mentioned earlier, along with other factors that are difficult to limit to this paper, this Law, with all its new amendments, and the added value it will provide to the Jordanian community and public, who are in line with the process of political modernization in the Kingdom, with the aim of changing the old approach, present the new effects that Jordanians see in providing a better life, and a broad participation in the political process. Perhaps this is what everyone looks forward to in the implementation of this Act. The Act's future implications and effects are dependent on the seriousness of governmental, national, partisan institutions, in addition to individuals, regarding the integration of public political work.

The Impact and Effects of the Law on the Jordanian Political and Partisan Life

It can be said that the Law, with its new novelties encouraging the public work, is facing other voices, that have many reservations about its texts. In general, the most important implications and effects of this Act, on the Jordanian political environment, can be summed up as follows:

  • In the new Act, a new mechanism was drafted regarding submitting the party's founding application, requiring that the number of applicants be in writing should be 300 people, taking into account the conditions required for the founding member or party member, who should not be officials or employed in a number of bides specified by such Act. The aim is to keep these sectors away from political tensions, and to remain neutral. Constituting a Pact also required to be in proportionate to certain age groups. These changes came in order for the parties to meet the national roles required of them in the work of programs, and attract a public on the Jordanian landscape. But on the other hand, these amendments were met with objections from some political parties, represented by two aspects:

1. That this Act was so strict the issue of founders, the convening of constituent conference, the mechanism of submitting the application for constituting, and in requiring a percentage of women and youth participation, where some parties and party specialists described them the same to be impossible-to-be-met stipulations, considering the same as having a lack in understanding the nature of partisan work, the matter which affects the fundamental basics of licensed parties, especially in light of the request of existing parties to correct their status asper the Act, within a specified period of time, otherwise either a party would be dissolved, or integrate with other parties that agree with it as options for parties. This shall lead to the disappearance of parties, due to their inability to meet the conditions set forth by the Act, or otherwise forcibly head towards merging with other parties, the matter which is contrary to the specificity of partisan life.

2. The exceptions contained in this Act, which are concerned with keeping some officials, preventing them from affiliating to some parties, are unjustified stipulations in the Act. Whereas as the expansion of a party, and the inclusion of the categories set forth in in the Act, would reduce the percentages of national participation, for which the parties have been constituted. This comes in the context that the work of the parties is not different from the core and nature of the State work, while keeping some institutions outside the idea of parties, such as members of the army and the judiciary, is desirable, due to maintaining the neutrality of them to the nature of the work of the State. and the sensitivity of the positions they occupy.

  • Regarding expanding and encouraging partisan participation within the universities and institutions of higher education, and the integration of age and social groups, introduced by the Act, and concerning the disengagement of restrictions to encourage youth to work in politics, and the emergence of national leaders among the youth, the same was met with objections. Some objections considered this as an exaggeration in the provisions of the Act, while others saw that although this is encouraging for youth to involve in partisan work, the negative image towards the work of parties in the Jordanian public will not change, and will remain present, especially that neglecting the partisan work was accompanied by economic and political problems, where increased unemployment and poverty were noted, especially among youth.
  • Concerning activating the influential role of the youth and women in partisan and political work within age groups, this Act was different from other previous Acts. But some have questioned the real and active role of women and youth within parties, where some parties believe that this will create parties that are interested in seeking to achieve those objective determinants and provisions, without genuinely seeking to implement the content or the purpose of selecting young and competent leaders to practice partisan work.
  • In a futuristic view of parties, differently from previous laws, the new Act gave broad space for parties to work together, by selecting strategies that would comply with their organization, and meet the requirements of their licensing. This can be done via coalition, alliance, or merger, in order to achieve common goals, set by stipulations that encouraged parties to proceed along this path, with funds allocated to parties if they merged. Furthermore, the futuristic outlook, and reading the current reality of partisan work in Jordan today, included that there are about 49 parties and 111 parties under constituting stage. Thus, in the light of the large numbers of parties on the scene, and other parties that are very similar to each other, the Act's stipulations motivate the licensed or listed parties to try to build bonds that unite them together.
  • In a context related to the above, many parties agreed that this Act will provide common ground for parties, to engage in major dialogues and debates, in which they comply with the stipulations of the Act. The outcomes of these dialogues would be creating large parties and representatives of mass rules, competing among in the upcoming parliamentary elections, with program blocs, as an option in which parties decide their course. While the parties that meet the stipulations of constitution, and do not favor neither merging or holding a coalition, would have this choice. Some parties deemed that such trend would weakens the work of parties on the ground, and their exercise of political action, by imposing a special agenda, or else, dissolving the party is the last option for them.
  • In a new shift in the party mechanism, the registration and competences of the parties were transferred to the Independent Commission for Elections, after they were under the competence of the Ministry of Political and Parliamentary Affairs. This is a precaution to the future, in case a party's ministers would be in the Government, thus becoming the administrative body, entrusted to monitor the affairs and work of the parties, limiting interventions by nepotism that may occur in the future, while activating the principle of transparency in dealing with all in this context.
  • In the areas of financial empowerment, the Act has brought financial supportive facilitations for parties, where a special system will be issued by the Act, setting out the provisions and the amount of financial support for parties, and their special disbursements. A clause in the General Budget was allocated to support parties from the State Treasury funds.
  • The Act was passed after deliberations in the House of Representatives for three consecutive days, which was strongly criticized by some forces, parties, and even members of the House of Representatives, that the Act did not give enough time to debate, along with criticism from some parties, and specialists that the discussions of this Act did not expand to include two parties with extensive cumulative experience in public political party work.



The Act that regulates the partisan process is important in facilitating registration procedures and party work, giving a political party a legal personality that enables it to exercise its financial, administrative, and intellectual functions. It regulates the inter-party relations between all interchanges, and the relevant persons to the partisan process, upon institutional grounds and standards.

The Partisan work in Jordan passed through many stages. Without going into its details, the process was generally characterized by slow progress, which was unable to shape the entire political landscape. We can say that what is witnessed in the partisan life, after setting of the Act, will be a step in the right direction, in the light of the development of the Act of Political Parties, and the Election Act draft, especially since this whole system should be seen as comprehensive and integrative.

Those familiar with the content of the Act will find that it represents a progressive state in the legislative frameworks, that govern the political parties. But the legislative framework alone is not sufficient to develop a partisan work, or to ensure an active participation based on programs and the rules of masses, as such issue needs strong political parties institutionally, characterized by internal democracy, transparency, and integrity in their working mechanisms.

In fact, the draft election draft, which allocates seats a party's list, expected to be debated by the House of Representatives soon, is a real motivation and catalyst for the work of the parties, in the context of their interaction, to win those seats and form a parliamentary majority.

So, the future prospects for the next party work, contain indicators in which there appears to be a remarkable political shift for the parties. This is what is provided by the Election Act draft, which gives parties a percentage of one-third in the elections for the next Council, and the percentage of 50% in the next elections, then, in the third elections, the share of the parties would be 65%, except for the percentage of Cota, which indicates that the form of the next parliaments will witness the selection by the Jordanian public through the party vote. This this casts a national responsibility on the parties to play their part in political life, within a parliamentary work, that needs the growth of a strong party pluralism, as future governments are formed by the winning parties, whether it is a single party or a party coalition.

Dr. Ziad Abdalla Al- Ayasreh

Researcher specializing in Middle East affairs