Friday 28th of February 2020 |
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Lower House adamant on social security coverage for lawmakers


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The Lower House on Sunday insisted on maintaining an article in the 2019 amendments of the Social Security Law that allows the coverage of lawmakers in retirement benefits and calculating their pension based on the monthly allowance allocated to them, and referred the bill to the Upper House again.
Defending their position, the deputies said that everyone, including MPs, have the right to social security, adding that the draft law is related to subscribing to the service rather than receiving a pension for service in Parliament.
The legislators also pointed out that not allowing MPs to subscribe to social security benefits would potentially make running for elections exclusive for the affluent, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 
The Senate had earlier scrapped the article added by the Lower House to the Social Security Law that entitled lawmakers to old-age, disability and death insurances, referring the amended bill back to the Lower House after the latter had endorsed it. 
The Upper House, which endorsed the remainder of the 2019 amendments to the bill as referred by the Lower House, justified its rejection to the MPs’ subscription amendment by its deviation from the original objectives of the law, noting that removing the provision in question would bear no effect on the right to voluntary subscription, which is available for lawmakers without Parliament having to incur further costs. 
Deputy Abdulkarim Dughmi on Sunday argued for a “constitutional uncertainty” in the Higher Council’s interpretation of Article 91 of the Constitution issued in 1955, which restricts amendments to a bill’s objectives without introducing new unrelated clauses.
Senators also argued that the article revokes the notion of the allowance that is granted to MPs from monthly allocations.
To end the gridlock in the case that the Senate insists on discarding the provision in question, a joint session of the two Houses of Parliament will be held to resolve the dispute in accordance with Article 92 of the Constitution.
According to Article 92 of the Constitution: “Should either House twice reject any draft law and the other accept it, whether or not amended, both the Senate and the Chamber shall hold a joint meeting under the chairmanship of the president of the Senate to discuss the matters in dispute.”

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