WORLD IN BRIEF : JORDAN : Hussein Promises Greater Freedom

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

King Hussein told the new Parliament in Amman that he will legalize political parties and relax martial law, opening the way to more freedom in Jordan after the first national elections in 22 years. "There is no doubt the current National Assembly represents a new phase in our life," Hussein said. Political parties have been banned for 33 years in Jordan after a coup attempt, and martial law has been in force for 22 years, since the Arab-Israeli War of 1967. The king said the government will try to strengthen civilian courts "to reduce gradually the need for martial and special courts."

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