Samir Rifai to Ammon : Constitutional amendments a positive step towards political reform

[24-04-2016 09:25 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Samir Rifai confirmed to Ammon that the proposed constitutional amendments aim to guarantee the independence of the Constitutional Court, the Judicial Branch, and the impartiality of the Gendarmerie forces in order to ensure that these institutions are insulated from politics. They are a continuation of the political reforms that His Majesty King Abdullah II hasled over the past seventeen years.

There have been a lot of opinions being voiced regarding the constitutional amendment removing the restriction on dual nationals to hold the position of Minister (or equivalent), Member of Parliament, or Senator.I would like to highlight the importance of distinguishing between Jordanians who acquired foreign nationalities under different conditions. For example, a Jordanian who acquired a foreign nationality as a right either through his parents or as a result of being born in a foreign country, is not required to swear an oath of allegiance to that country and should not be denied his right as a Jordanian to be a minister, a senator, or a member of Parliament. The same applies to a Jordanian who seeks citizenship in a foreign country whose laws do not require him to swear an oath of allegiance to that country.

The problem arises in the case where Jordanians seek a foreign nationality and are required to swear an oath of allegiance and loyalty to that country, which may directly contradict the oath of allegiance and loyalty that he has to pledgeif he becomes a minister, a senator, or a member of Parliament.

I would have preferred it if this distinction was taken into consideration in order to maintain the sanctity of our Jordanian oath of allegiance. It should be noted that we are discussing only a few positions in the public service and that all other public sector jobs are open for Jordanians with dual nationalities.

I had the opportunity to work with Jordanians who held the nationality of foreign countries and I never doubted their loyalty to King and country, and their service to Jordan, and as such they should not be denied the right of serving their country because of their dual citizenship, although from a purely personal point of view, I do not favor, in general, the concept of dual nationality for persons holding high political positions.

In any case, the Cabinet has approved the suggested constitutional amendments and sent them to the Parliament. In the event that the Parliament approves them, they will be presented to His Royal Majesty. If His Majesty approves them, they will become an integral part of the Constitution which we all pledged to preserve and protect.

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