The Formation Challenge

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Wed 13 June / Jun 2018. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

There are not many leaks on the government formation process, so far.

Logically speaking, the Prime Minister-designate is but expected to take his time in his deliberations and consultations on the formation of his new government.

This is all but expected, as it is the nature of the new government, which has begun with the arrival of an elite, leading figure, from beyond the conventional pool of candidates.

Among the new faces expected to be included in Dr Omar Razzaz’s government are representatives of the youth, which is in and of itself, a challenge of considerable magnitude.

Within the state itself, there are no mechanisms to support the filtration and candidacy process to set apart the capable youths from the rest. The same goes for the bureaucratic apparatus and the conventional political party pools.

Even civil society organisations and institutions lack the shortlisting and filtration processes required to deliver forth the youth’s political and economic crème de la crème, so to speak.

The PM really has no way of telling who is and who isn’t capable, among the youths that is, thanks to the shortage in the above regards.

Of course, we are not talking about party-government. There is no precedence of it in Jordan, and hence, no tradition to reinforce it or realise it.

Meanwhile, any the government formation process is confined to the “box” and pool of typical candidates, due to the lack of filtration mechanisms. Either that, geographical quotas and distribution, or the circle of acquaintances. There is no other way to pump in young blood into the veins of the state and its institutions; to bring in new, unconventional faces and youth into the system.

Though the PM has the green light to form his government, it is not as simple as we would think.

Anyone shortlisted for a ministerial position must be assessed and evaluated thoroughly, especially if they haven’t been tested before. Let alone youth candidates, whose positions on the political and economic approaches of the state have been critical, mostly, for a while now.

The birth of such a model, unconventional government, be it in regards to the political climate, its formation, or even the reformist approach the PM promised, is hard labour, to say the least. Especially in the light of there being no filtering and shortlist mechanisms to meet the requirements of the promised devise.

Prime Minister Razzaz is preoccupied by the premise of forming a government that includes technocratic and political elements, with the capacity to ensure harmony within the Cabinet.

Razzaz wants a team, capable of making decisions and consolidating efforts to make confident strikes towards a common goal. He wants to avoid political fragmentation at any cost. Unlike the old government, whose ministries were more or less operating in utter isolation, the designated prime minister wants one that operates as one body.

He realises how this reflects on the government’s relationship with the people, and realises as well how lacking this has toppled the resigned government’s popularity over the last couple of years.

Everything about this is important. But no less so is the adequacy of the final candidates and their compatibility with each other to ensure smoothness of the bureaucratic machine; that an early collision does not occur, resulting in a political exposure so early on.

That said, all of this stands to test under the dome, when the new government faces the House of Representatives for the Vote of Confidence.

PM Razzaz must be sure to avoid early conflict and be more flexible with the other decision making halls.

However, this could reflect badly on the choices he makes for ministers, which defies the very objective of his agenda.

So, you see, Razzaz may very well find himself in a bit of a sticky situation.

Nonetheless, it is expected officially that the preliminary image and line-up of the new government concludes within the upcoming 24 hours, if there are no delays.

It is important that the government gets it over with the formation and no-confidence test as soon as possible, in order to move on to the actual agendas and programmes.

Dr Razzaz’s government is in for a rough ride, with many obstacles and sizeable challenges up ahead, not to mention opposition from the very beginning.

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