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Atef Tarawneh wins presidency of Jordanian House of Representatives for the fifth time

Atef Tarawneh, Speaker of Jordan's House of Representatives since [File photo]
Atef Tarawneh, Speaker of Jordan's House of Representatives since [File photo]

Atef Tarawneh won, Sunday, a fifth term as president of the Jordanian House of Representatives. Tarawneh, who caucuses with the Al-Watan bloc won  87 votes while 39 votes went to his his rival, Abdullah Akayleh, the candidate of Islah bloc, the legislative arm of the Islamic Action Front.

Tarawneh headed the three sessions of the 17th House of Representatives. The Head of the House of Representatives used to be elected every year before the amendment of the electoral law in early 2016 which made elections every two years.

Tarawneh is known to be a moderate politician who does not lean left or the right. Nonetheless, he does not cut off ties with any of the Islamic or leftist political blocs, and has not caused any instability in the general atmosphere of national unity or issued any statements about issues that cause sensitivity and division between Political parties.

Tarawneh is one of the most prominent Jordanian politicians and has  considerable financial influence. He was one of the owners of construction contracting companies before joining the parliament. His brothers have large companies that are active in contracting and opening roads and streets.

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Family companies have received direct and indirect bids of more than 100 million Jordanian dinars since winning his first parliamentary seat 15 years ago.

Tarawneh frequently receives criticisms from influential people and activists on social media, and sometimes the criticism turns into accusations that affect Tarawneh and those close to him.

Tarawneh became for the first time a member of the 14th Jordanian House of Representatives after winning the 2003 elections. He then ran for all the following polls and won in the elections of 2007, 2010, and 2013.

He had previously won the presidency of the Jordanian House of Representatives four times since the first regular session of the 17th House of Representatives on three occasions. He has won again in the first regular session of the 18th House of Representatives for two years this time after the amendment of the electoral law.

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Tarawneh was born in Karak in 1954. He received his primary education in school in Al-Khalidiyah and then Moab and completed his secondary training in Karak. He then went to Athens to study civil engineering at its National University in 1981. Soon after graduating, he started his career as an engineer in Saudi Arabia from 1981 to 1983. He then returned to Jordan to serve as an engineering director of the municipalities of Ma’an, Az-Zarqā, Balqa, and the capital from 1984 to 1994. Afterwards, he turned to work in the private sector, in which he headed boards of directors of several companies.

Tarawneh chaired the Greek-Jordanian Friendship Committee. He was also a member of the Jordanian-Ukrainian Friendship Committee and the Chairman of The Arab Assurers Co. He also assumed responsibilities in many civil society organisations, including his chairmanship of the Aid Society for the Poor Student, and his membership in several sports and cultural clubs, as well as being the Director General of Al-Hussein Youth City.

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