Geographic and Governmental Profile of Jordan

Background
Beginning in January 2011 in the wake of unrest in Tunisia and Egypt, as many as several thousand Jordanians staged weekly demonstrations and marches in Amman and other cities throughout Jordan to push for political reforms and protest government corruption, rising prices, rampant poverty, and high unemployment. In response, King ABDALLAH replaced his prime minister and formed two commissions - one to propose specific reforms to Jordan's electoral and political parties laws, and the other to consider limited constitutional amendments. In a televised speech in June 2011, the King announced plans to work toward transferring authority for appointing future prime ministers and cabinet ministers to parliament; in a subsequent announcement, he outlined a revised political parties law intended to encourage greater political participation. Protesters and opposition elements generally acknowledged those measures as steps in the right direction but many continue to push for greater limits on the King's authority and to fight against government corruption. In September 2011, a royal decree approved constitutional amendments passed by the Parliament aimed at strengthening a more independent judiciary and establishing a constitutional court and independent election commission to oversee the next municipal and parliamentary elections, slated for April 2012 and fall 2012, respectively. King ABDALLAH in October 2011 dismissed the Jordanian cabinet and replaced the prime minister in response to widespread public dissatisfaction with government performance and escalating criticism of the premier because of public concerns over his reported involvement in corruption.
Location
Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia, between Israel (to the west) and Iraq
Geographic coordinates
31 00 N, 36 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Middle East
Area
total:
89,342 sq km
rank:
112
land:
88,802 sq km
water:
540 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Indiana
Land boundaries
total:
1,635 km
border countries:
Iraq 181 km, Israel 238 km, Saudi Arabia 744 km, Syria 375 km, West Bank 97 km
Coastline
26 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
3 nm
Climate
mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)
Terrain
mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Dead Sea -408 m
highest point:
Jabal Umm ad Dami 1,854 m
Natural resources
phosphates, potash, shale oil
Land use
arable land:
3.32%
permanent crops:
1.18%
other:
95.5% (2005)
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Irrigated land
820 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
0.9 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
1.01 cu km/yr (21%/4%/75%)
per capita:
177 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
droughts; periodic earthquakes
Environment - current issues
limited natural freshwater resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
strategic location at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba and as the Arab country that shares the longest border with Israel and the occupied West Bank
Country name
conventional long form:
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
conventional short form:
Jordan
local long form:
Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah
local short form:
Al Urdun
former:
Transjordan
Government type
constitutional monarchy
Capital
name:
Amman
geographic coordinates:
31 57 N, 35 56 E
time difference:
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr, begins first Friday in April; ends last Friday in October
Administrative divisions
12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ajlun, Al 'Aqabah, Al Balqa', Al Karak, Al Mafraq, 'Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa', Irbid, Jarash, Ma'an, Madaba
Independence
25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
Constitution
1 January 1952; amended many times
Legal system
mixed legal system of civil law and Islamic religious law; judicial review of legislative acts in a specially provided High Tribunal
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
King ABDALLAH II (since 7 February 1999); Crown Prince HUSSEIN (born 28 June 1994), eldest son of King ABDALLAH II
head of government:
Prime Minister Fayez al-TARAWNEH (since 2 May 2012)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the monarch
elections:
the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch
bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of the Senate, also called the House of Notables or Majlis al-Ayan (60 seats; members appointed by the monarch to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies, also called the House of Representatives or Majlis al-Nuwaab (120 seats; members elected using a single, non-transferable vote system in multi-member districts to serve four-year terms); note - the new electoral law enacted in May 2010 allocated an additional 10 seats (6 seats added to the number reserved for women, bringing the total to 12; 2 additional seats for Amman; and 1 seat each for the cities of Zarqa and Irbid; unchanged are 9 seats reserved for Christian candidates, 9 for Bedouin candidates, and 3 for Jordanians of Chechen or Circassian descent
elections:
Chamber of Deputies - last held on 9 November 2010 (next scheduled in 2012); note - the King dissolved the previous Chamber of Deputies in November 2009, midway through the parliamentary term
election results:
Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents and other 120 (includes 12 seats filled by women's quota and 1 woman was directly elected); note - the IAF boycotted the election
Judicial branch
Court of Cassation (Supreme Court)
Political parties and leaders
Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party [Akram al-HIMSI]; Ba'ath Arab Progressive Party [Fuad DABBOUR]; Call Party [Muhammed ABU BAKR]; Democratic People's Party [Ablah ABU ULBAH]; Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'id DIAB]; Islamic Action Front or IAF [Hamzah MANSOUR]; Islamic Center Party [Marwan al-FA'URI]; Jordanian Communist Party [Munir HAMARNAH]; Jordanian National Party [Muna ABU BAKR]; Jordanian United Front [Amjad al-MAJALI]; Life Party [Zahier AMR]; Message Party [Hazem QASHOU]; National Constitution Party [Ahmad al-SHUNAQ]; National Current Party [Abd al-Hadi al-MAJALI]; National Movement for Direct Democracy [Muhammad al-QAQ]
Political pressure groups and leaders
15 April Movement [Mohammad SUNEID, chairman]; 1952 Constitution Movement; 24 March Movement [Mu'az al-KHAWALIDAH, Mu'adh al-KHAWALIDAH, Abdel Rahman HASANEIN, spokespersons]; Anti-Normalization Committee [Hamzah MANSOUR, chairman]; Economic and Social Association of Retired Servicemen and Veterans or ESARSV [Abdulsalam al-HASSANAT, chairman]; Group of 36; Higher Coordination Committee of Opposition Parties [Said DIAB]; Higher National Committee for Military Retirees or HNCMR [Ali al-HABASHNEH, chairman]; Jordan Bar Association [Saleh al-ARMUTI, chairman]; Jordanian Campaign for Change or Jayin; Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood [Dr. Hamam SAID, controller general]; Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; National Front for Reform or NFR [Ahmad OBEIDAT, chairman]; Popular Gathering for Reform; Professional Associations Council [Abd al-Hadi al-FALAHAT, chairman]; Sons of Jordan
International organization participation
ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CICA, FAO, G-11, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Alia Hatough-BOURAN
chancery:
3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 966-2664
FAX:
[1] (202) 966-3110
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Stuart E. JONES
embassy:
Abdoun, Amman
mailing address:
P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; Unit 70200, Box 5, DPO AE 09892-0200
telephone:
[962] (6) 590-6000
FAX:
[962] (6) 592-0121
Flag description
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), representing the Abbassid Caliphate, white, representing the Ummayyad Caliphate, and green, representing the Fatimid Caliphate; a red isosceles triangle on the hoist side, representing the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, and bearing a small white seven-pointed star symbolizing the seven verses of the opening Sura (Al-Fatiha) of the Holy Koran; the seven points on the star represent faith in One God, humanity, national spirit, humility, social justice, virtue, and aspirations; design is based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I
National symbol(s)
eagle
National anthem
name:
"As-salam al-malaki al-urdoni" (Long Live the King of Jordan)
lyrics/music:
Abdul-Mone'm al-RIFAI'/Abdul-Qader al-TANEER
adopted 1946; the shortened version of the anthem is used most commonly, while the full version is reserved for special occasions
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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