SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!


The monarch’s role in Jordan

The country of Jordan has been a monarchy for just over 100 years. In 1921, the monarchy was set up as a result of the Arab Revolt and World War I.

Abdullah I was the first ruler, and he oversaw many changes during his time as leader. Jordan began as a British protectorate and was referred to as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. Emir Abdullah I was its leader. Eventually, the country became independent of Britain, and Abdullah I was named the first monarch of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. Then in 1949, after gaining land in the Arab-Israeli War, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan or Jordan.

After Abdullah was assassinated, Talal ruled the kingdom. However, Parliament forced him to abdicate after 13 months, and his son, Hussein, took over. After ruling for almost 47 years, King Hussein died in 1999. His son, King Abdullah II, is the current Jordanian King.

Jordan is a constitutional monarchy. However, in Jordan, the King is not ceremonial and wields more power than many other constitutional monarchs across the globe. King Abdullah II can suspend, dissolve or shorten sessions of Parliament; he also appoints the Prime Minister.

The King approves or vetoes all laws in the country; however, his veto can be overridden with a two-thirds vote in both houses of Parliament. He also ratifies all treaties. As Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, King Abdullah II has the power to declare war.

The Assembly of Senators and Chamber of Deputies make up the National Assembly in Jordan. The King appoints 65 members of the Assembly of Senators, they serve a four-year term.

An amendment to the Constitution in 2022 added to his power. Article 40, Paragraph 2, now says: “The King shall exercise the powers vested in him by Royal Decree without such Decree be countersigned by the Prime Minister and the Minister or Ministers concerned in the following cases: the selection of the Crown Prince, appointment of the Regent, appointment of the president and members of the Senate, dissolution of the Senate and acceptance of the resignation or dismissal of any of its members, appointment of the head of the Judicial Council and acceptance of his/her resignation, appointment of the president and members of the Constitutional Court and acceptance of their resignations, in addition to the appointment, acceptance of the resignations, and dismissal of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of the Intelligence Department, Director of the Public Security Department, Chief Justice, head of the Sharia Judicial Council, Grand Mufti, Chief the Royal Court, Minister of the Court, and the King’s advisors.

As Head of the House of Hashim, King Abdullah II oversees the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. This responsibility began in 1924 and has been passed down to each monarch of Jordan. Many of the sites the King is responsible for include the Temple Mount, Al-Aqsa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.