Will its end come at the hands of Ensour and Kalaldeh?

تم نشره في Tue 13 May / May 2014. 01:52 PM - آخر تعديل في Tue 13 May / May 2014. 01:53 PM

By Fahed Khitan

The government still did not ratify the draft election law, despite the fact that the Ministry of Political and Parliamentary Affairs - the sum of two ministries – had already prepared the draft that is still under discussion. The leaked details are undoubtedly encouraging, compared with current law.

But Prime Minister Dr. Abdullah Ensour, and like him the Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Khaled Kalaldeh, do not miss a chance to reiterate that the new law, in spite of its details, will go completely beyond the one person, one vote system.

Such statements inspire relief among the political circles who blame the one person, one vote system the greatest responsibility for the decline in the quality of parliamentary and political party engagement in the country, and have been calling for scraping it for twenty years, to no avail. Several amendments were made to the law, but neither touched on this item.

In the past few years, and prior to the 2010 elections, an important opportunity to eliminate the one person, one vote system emerged.

Indicators in this regard mixed. A few months before, the government was strongly driven to finalize the draft law and present it to the last parliamentary session. But then slowed down under various pretexts; sometimes under the pretext of legislative priorities that require the adoption of legislation for political parties, municipalities, and decentralization legislation before the elections, and at other times claimed deputies fear that the law will be ratified so early in the life of the Lower House, which puts them under the threat of being dissolved. In the end, it was agreed to be transferred to the next year or later.

In fact, we do not know what will happen in the year 2015 or beyond, and how will the political mood in the state institutions be. None knows whether the government of Dr. Ensour will be present or not.

The supporters of the one person, one vote system in state institutions are still in their positions. The Parliament is divided on the same topic, although there was a broad consensus that the current system should be abolished. And none of the attempts have succeeded so far; why would they now?

There are those who are betting on the regional situation, the risks resulting therefrom, and the security challenges associated with it, to keep the status quo, under the pretext that internal adventures threaten stability. Those who hold this opinion believe that the election law and the system of one vote in particular helped set the rhythm of the political life, and it should not be compromised in such sensitive circumstances.

An opinion many, and I in particular, disagree with. But the regional environment around us, which is heading towards further deterioration, puts the conservatives in Jordan in a stronger position.

I think that the chance to bury the One vote system was eminent a few months ago. I am afraid it is slipping away from our grip the longer we wait.



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.