Jordanian government ministers, on Monday, tendered their resignations in anticipation of a cabinet reshuffle, marking the seventh such reshuffle since the formation of Prime Minister Bishr Khasawneh’s government in October 2020.
Meanwhile, government sources have ruled out any changes affecting sovereign portfolios.
The ministerial shake up comes just days after the announcement of the fourth and final session for the Jordanian parliament, whose constitutional term concludes next summer.
This development occurs amidst active party dynamics aiming to participate in upcoming elections.
The electoral law has allocated 41 seats in the upcoming parliament out of a total of 138 exclusively for the party lists.
While it is almost certain that at least two current members of the House of Representatives will join the new ministerial team, sources revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the new ministers will take their constitutional oath before Jordan’s monarch, King Abdullah, on Tuesday.
Sources indicate that Khasawneh’s move to introduce at least two current members of the House of Representatives into the reshuffle may set the stage for an impending confrontation between the two branches of government.
This is especially significant given the desire of other parliamentarians to secure ministerial positions.
As the House of Representatives approaches the end of its constitutional term starting in mid-July, the situation is further complicated by the constitutional requirement to hold parliamentary elections within the four months preceding the end of the House’s four-year term.
The final results for the current House of Representatives were declared on November 15, 2020.
Including lawmakers into the ministerial team requires them to first submit their resignations from parliament before they can take the constitutional oath before the King.
This requirement stems from constitutional amendments approved at the beginning of 2022, which expressly prohibit holding both parliamentary and ministerial positions concurrently.
The current House of Representatives marks a historical departure from previous parliamentary bodies, as it underwent changes with the removal of two deputies, the lifting of parliamentary immunity for MP Imad Al-Adwan, who faces charges of smuggling weapons to Israel, and the passing of two other deputies.
Khasawneh’s leadership may pave the way for the continued connection between the government’s term and that of parliament members. This is particularly notable because the past three parliamentary sessions have completed their constitutional terms.
However, it's worth noting that the previous parliament only dealt with two different government heads: Hani Mulki, who resigned in mid-2018 amidst public protests against the income tax law, was replaced for the remaining two years of the eighteenth parliamentary session by then Prime Minister Omar Razzaz.
Regarding the expected ministerial reshuffle, sources have hinted at possible changes.
These include the departure of ministers responsible for information and water resources, the separation of the Ministry of Transport from the Ministry of Public Works, and the separation of the Ministry of Labor from the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply.
However, sources have not definitively confirmed the rumors regarding ministerial reshuffling.
Among the parliamentarians, Omar Al Ayasra from the governorate of Jerash in northern Amman and Khair Abu Saelik from the fourth district in Amman are considered strong contenders for cabinet positions.