Where was the premier?

تم نشره في Sun 8 February / Feb 2015. 11:22 AM

By Jumana Ghunaimat


During the last snowstorm, the premier, Dr. Abdullah Ensour, soldiered on television, reciting sermons and tips that reach the point of threats.

That day, Ensour recommended to Jordanians not to leave their homes before nine in the morning, and come back to it before the five in the evening; he blamed those who left their homes for a walk in the snow, as they have made the work of the state harder in the face of “the storm war”.

The meetings were long, and many were the events for the thanks and appreciation to the officials on their great effort in the face of the storm, before and after it hit the Kingdom, highlighting the most prominent achievements.

But the intensive appearance of Dr. Ensour during the storm; so much so that there was not one single institution that he has not visited, contrasted by a complete absence during one greatest crisis, the tragedy of the death of the hero pilot Muath Kasasbeh.

Ensour’s only comment, since we received the bad news, was only that the time is not right for comments. And so it was, the premier was missed throughout the difficult days the Jordanians saw; the citizen did not hear, even though he is also the Minister of Defense, even one uplifting word from him.

Perhaps Ensour did a lot in closed rooms, but the important thing is what the Jordanians saw and experienced in the days during which Jordan was walking on the edge.

The absence of the premier was cumulative; starting from the first Islamic State video, which calls for Jordan to swap the Japanese hostage with the terrorist Sajidah al-Rishawi, right down to the second recording; we did not hear the comments from the premier even then.

That night, when the anxious youth went to the Fourth Circle, the least expected from the premier was that they he meets them; he is capable, through his well-known skills, to absorb their sweeping anger the time. Ensour’s rejection to receive those youth was painful, and reads in more than one way!

Inevitably, the premier is not required to reveal state secrets, and the details of an ongoing negotiation process, but he is also required to help the Jordanians deal with exceptional circumstance.

Esnour – a brilliant orator and political veteran – has decades of accumulative political experience, came out in the midst of the crisis, to tell us about the government’s plan to not cancel the Geology class!

The absence of the premier did not stop here; Dr. Ensour saw sufficient that - following the announcement of the martyrdom of hero Muath – he gives brief remarks at the House of Representatives, as if the grieving street is not worth a single word of its prime minister.

To be fair, one should ask some questions, which may explain the unexplained absence of the prime minister; can his absence be read in the context of the restructuring of the functions and roles of state institutions, by virtue of the recent constitutional amendment, especially as it carries the theme of a military and security operation? Or, was the absence of the premier optional, as his rivals criticize him for his habit of being absent during hot crises?

It is known to the people that Dr. Ensour has mastered the role of defending tough decisions; especially raising prices. But, he mastered another one, and that is being absent during tough situations!

The entire Kingdom is on a date with a new snowstorm at the end of this week, and we, most likely, will see the state premier at length!



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition