A Politically Colourless Government!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Sun 15 January / Jan 2017. 12:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Sun 15 January / Jan 2017. 09:09 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Indeed, the Cabinet reshuffle, Saturday, is intended as a way out of the government-parliament hole, brought by the MPs’ memo to censure outgoing Interior Minister, Salameh Hammad. This does not mean that it is an emergent idea, on the contrary.

Long before the crisis crystallised, the Cabinet reshuffle was always imminent; it was being deliberated and recurrently brought up by the Premier, and was lastly postponed until the Arab Summit concludes.

That said, the actual reshuffle is just an acceleration of the inevitable and imminent!

The reshuffle is devoid of any particular political messages; ministers in, others out, which does not necessarily mean —politically— anything, besides —perhaps— that this time the Prime Minister may have made some of the new choices himself, that would exclude of course the more critical offices which carry great interest and influence by the “decision makers”.

Nonetheless, perhaps unintentionally, the government ended up with a more fierce and powerful political crew, capable of carrying out the government’s political and media message, and aid the premier in addressing the obvious weaknesses, which have reflected intensely on the Cabinet’s image among the people as well as the House of Representatives.

Among the newly assigned, is prominent figure Dr Mamdouh Abaddi, who’s known to have strong political, unionist, and parliamentary expertise. He will definitely help the Premier cool the MP-Government situation down and outline a framework for the government’s political rhetoric to help address the citizenry.

No less qualified is his new Foreign Minister; Ayman Safadi, with his extensive media and political expertise, having presided media institutions and served as deputy premier under Prime Minister Samir Rifai, as well as Counsel to the King, and finally head of a consultancy and think-tank centre in the Arab Gulf.

Typically, Safadi’s character will encourage his participation in domestic policies just as well.

If we add to the two respectable figures the Minister of State for Political Affairs, Mousa Maayta, this ‘triad’ will build a considerable political momentum. And if we consider newly appointed Minister of Education Dr Omar Razzaz, the reformist Liberalist, to take over outgoing Education Minister Thuneibat’s curricular and education reform project, who was seen as a little too conservative given his Islamist background.

Notwithstanding, this does not mean that a stretching leap is in order; Razzaz is a balanced and moderate Liberalist, meanwhile, decision makers are going to be sensitive in regards to required reforms, particularly after the sweeping protests previously.

All in all, the good news is that the technocratic team, who actually did well, like the ministers of energy, municipal affairs, water, and public works, are still in office, which creates a much needed consistency, along with the minister of media whose role was indispensable in the recent discords between the government and the media, not to mention his ability to actually handle criticism and disagreement by journalist and columnists.

In spite of all the good, the government has always sustained one killer fault, even in the current one; political colourlessness and incoherence. The government’s strong political team is not homogenous, let alone coherent.

The farthest they could be from harmony, members of the cabinet are totally oppositional on both tiers of the political dynamic; domestic and foreign policies. And even though the Cabinet’s role, unfortunately of course, in politics is highly restrained, the presence of such an fierce political team in government will surely induce disagreements over the government’s identity and political message, causing discord within days of the reshuffle, and may even be torn apart by the incompatibility of sharply varying agendas.

Personal political differences, surely, are health and natural, to a degree, as well as necessary. But that would be conditioned by the presidency of a Prime Minister capable of inducing harmony among the members of Cabinet, to generalise a unified public stand.

So, will the premier find the initiative to prove cynics and sceptics wrong now that he has actually contributed to choosing his team?

On another note, as for the slumbering reformist current within the state, with Razzaz in, we will designate another article for that.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.