Local Government

The Kingdom is divided into twelve governorates, each headed by a governor and subdivided into administrative regions. The governorates are an extension of the central government, and are supervised by the Ministry of the Interior. Governors enjoy wide administrative authority, and in specific cases they exercise the powers of ministers.

Municipal councils within a governorate are elected by local residents for a four-year term. However, in cases of legal disputes or lack of a quorum, the governor can appoint a municipal committee for an extendable two-year term. Starting in July 1995, nationwide municipal council elections were held on the same day, with a number of women winning seats for the first time. Similar to the 1993 parliamentary elections, they showed the strength of tribal and family affiliations in people’s voting practices, and greater concern about improved local services than political ideologies.

The mayor and half of the council of the Greater Amman Municipality are appointed by the government, and the other half elected. At the village level, each village has a council appointed by the governor, and councils are changed as the governor deems necessary.