Hundreds of Parties, Soon

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Sun 31 July / Jul 2016. 08:46 PM
  • Fahed Khitan

The government has one foot on the right track towards rectifying the political party situation in Jordan, having placed reasonable criterion to secure additional support, up to JOD50 thousand, should a Party be capable of forming lists to compete in the upcoming elections, including alliances with other parties to secure seats in Parliament.

In any other situation, the parties’ support system was left intact, in regard to the cut-and-dry JOD50 thousand annual aid, in accordance to previously set regulation. Over the last year, 35 parties have met the criterion for state support, and was eligible for the sums promised.

Out of these parties, only 5 or 6 will be able to form electoral lists. Historic and ideological parties have massively failed so far, in forming lists for the elections. And there are other newborn parties without a trace in the electoral scene.

The total numbers of licenced parties in Jordan will reach 50 in days, as there are 23 new parties under establishment.

Obviously, the quantity of political parties in Jordan is growing rapidly, at rates that outdo all other sectors. And the disparity here lies in that this growth does not reflect on the reality of party life; neither in influence or in presence.

Should this trend live on, within some years, we’ll have hundreds of parties, and yet no political party life in Jordan!

The direction, some years ago, was to formulate 3 to 4 major parties, representative of the globally known political currents, from right, through centre, to left. So that these parties would stir and pillar the political dynamic in the Country.

However, this direction was unsuccessful. And even though more strictness has been adopted to the party-formation regulation, none of it hindered the increase of parties as said above.

The current situation of political parties in Jordan, is a reflection of the disturbed track of political reformation in Jordan, and the disparity between direction and directive, coupled with the weakness of the Parliament’s ability to adjust to underway political transformations across the Kingdom.

As a result of these deformation, political party life has turned into something more or less like a caricature; some party founders sought to establish their parties to secure funding for personal individual purposes, others to secure social status under party banners. More so, uncovered events on the activities of many parties reflect a deteriorating state, with corruption infested in their leaderships, as some have turned into crooks and frauds exploiting their parties for personal gains in the absence of governance and integrity controls.

Following the first step outlined by the Ministry of Political Affairs, comprised in amendments to the additional support article, a second step needs to be devised in correlation to the party presence and representation in Parliament, associations, and election civic organisations in whole; else, why would additional support be granted to parties aiming at best to lead their figureheads into the frontline of society in mere formalities, and help these parties win on the account of taxpayer money?

For decades Jordanians have staked on the return of political party life to reform the Country’s official situation and its institutions, and develop its executive authority’s administrative tools and methods. Yet, here we are, a quarter of a century since, or more; trying as hard as we can to prevent the political party life experiment from falling to pieces, and put together what can be fixed! What a tragic disparity it is, most undoubtedly!