GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
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