(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The Senate on Sunday rejected Lower House changes to two laws granting Parliament members permanent diplomatic passports and all lawmakers retirement payments for life, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
During yesterday's session, the Senate voted down the Lower House's amendments to Article 9 of the 2012 Passports Law, under which Royal family members, as well as serving and former premiers, ministers, Royal Court chiefs, King's advisers, senators, MPs and chief Islamic justices are to be given permanent diplomatic passports.
The senators agreed that granting special and diplomatic passports for lawmakers "does not serve the purpose of issuing these documents".
The government's version of the 2012 Passports Law stipulated that diplomatic passports be given to Royal family members, serving and former prime ministers, serving Senate presidents, Lower House speakers and presidents of the Higher Judicial Council.
In addition, under the government's amendments to the law, ministers, deputies and senators were to be eligible for temporary diplomatic passports that would be withdrawn when they left office.
The MPs' decision to give themselves and their predecessors permanent diplomatic passports had triggered public anger over the past week, with several people criticising deputies for busying themselves with obtaining personal gains at the expense of citizens and the country.
The Senate endorsed the temporary Civil Service Retirement Law as presented by the government, making one change stipulating that lawmakers are not entitled to a pension salary except after at least six years of actual civil service and four years as a parliamentarian.
This applies to ministers and officials as well as heads of municipal councils who retired or quit their jobs and served in one of the two Houses of Parliament for at least one term.
Last week, several deputies threatened to effectively paralyse the Lower House by boycotting sessions and preventing them from proceeding due to lack of quorum if the Senate does not approve giving parliamentarians lifetime pensions.
The amendments senators made to the two laws will be debated by MPs, and if they reject them, a joint session of the two Chambers will be held for a final decision, which is taken by a two-third majority.