The King’s Speech: What Changed?

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Sun 12 November / Nov 2017. 01:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Sun 12 November / Nov 2017. 11:23 PM
  • Fahed Khitan

Something has changed in the King’s more recent speeches from the Throne.

His latest, inaugurating the reconvention of Jordan’s 18th Parliament, positions the Throne at an equal distance from both the legislative and the executive authorities.

Not once did the King use the conventional diction, “my government”, in His address.

Instead, he focused mostly on the responsibilities of the two authorities to work for the greater good, through partnership and cooperation between the Government and Parliament.

He also recapped on the achievements of cooperation, during the last extraordinary sessions, in terms of progress in legislation and development in the judicial sphere.

In His speech, the King called upon the two authorities to maintain bipartisan collaboration through this second ordinary session.

What the monarch is trying to underlines is that cooperation at this point is indispensable.

The agendas of Parliament, for these next few months, entail a variety of extremely sensitive of priority legislation. The issues up for discussion are the centrepiece of national debate and it is vital that they be addressed conclusively under the Dome, Jordan’s house of democracy, as the King put it.

In fact, based on past parliamentary experience in Jordan, there is no other way to secure the interests of the general good other than cooperation, all the while maintaining each’s autonomy and authorities.

Collision and confliction between the two institutions of the state will serve no one’s interest, and it will certainly not serve the interests of the state!

Despite the regional turmoil and the challenges that come with it, His Majesty made sure He dedicates the podium to addressing the questions of our nation, above all else. The King has always stressed that “no one will solve our problems but us”, hence, the focus on the domestic state of affairs.

This is an explicit invitation to all invested parties to work with what we have, domestically, instead of waiting for the regional situation to resolve itself. It is vital, accordingly, that we stop relying on aid and grants to address of economic questions. Only by innovating solutions can we make sure we never fall in the same economic hole again!

These past few years are proof of the fact that our capacity to face external threats and changes depends; more than anything, on the stability and solidity of our domestic frontier.

Notably, we have made it through many a trying situations, and we’ve paid for it with the blood of our martyrs, with our economy and the Jordanian quality of life.

To ensure that we stay our course towards stability and prosperity, His Majesty stressed that the two authorities must protect the interests of the people and the middle class.

He underlined, in His Speech, that they should work together towards better living conditions for Jordanians to have decent, dignified lives and a prosperous economy, as planned.

Accordingly, the King reaffirmed that the government must responsibly plan and execute, while the House of Representatives should actively follow progress and oversee government’s commitment to the execution of its plans, in order to attain their goals.

In short, it is confidence conditioned by achievement and nothing else.

MPs know today, in light of His Majesty’s speech, that they have the King’s trust and appreciation. They also know now that much relies on the continuation of cooperation between the two authorities and public inclusion in decision making, through the elected municipality and local councils.

Meanwhile, the government has learned today that the King’s endorsement depends on their ability to carry out their tasks and responsibilities.

They realise now that they have to meet their pledges in plans and projects and advance partnership with Parliament.

We are not in a position to test other waters; Jordan’s domestic interests above all, and then we look outward with strength for further interests.

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