Fahed Khitan

The King, the Government, and Parliament

تم نشره في Wed 24 February / Feb 2016. 09:24 PM

Only hours after the Election Bill was passed by the Lower House of parliament, political and media communities started contemplating and arguing the fates of parliament and government; expectancies of the prior’s disassembly, and the government’s resignation.

Suggested scenarios are, first, the impending dissolve of parliament and re-elections in August. The second scenario is postponing it until later during this year to hold re-elections over last two months of 2016. The third, however, is putting it forward until the first quarter of next year; which concludes the constitutional term for parliament, and also means the survival of the current government until then.

Little of the circulated information is based on concrete data, and most of it is more or less speculation and goodwill hunting. It is most likely that no one knows what the Decision Maker thinks of it, and maybe the whole bill is still being considered within the closer circles, holding for the last word to come through in the next couple of weeks.

Accordingly, we can see that two of the three scenarios above favour for re-elections to be held this year. And should that be the case, then we are up for quite a challenge.

Conducting an elections requires complex logistical and technical preparations to be made, not only on the side of the Independent Elections Commission’s, but on the government’s too. And we do not know just how prepared the Commission is, or whether it shall be retained as is or reformed to give it the energy and capacity needed to manage the most important and dangerous stage of elections.

The new election legislation —however developed, stands only for a part of the electoral process, which falls short of its objectives without proper capacitation for the coming phases; listing candidates, electoral regulations, poll and voting arrangements, and independent monitoring over the whole election process.

On the political level, many aspects and opinions on the State’s position regarding the bill of elections are withheld still; the argument for and against participation in the coming elections, the action plan for the coming stage, the required kind of government that is to come pending the elections. Have we made our decision on parliamentary government or are we going to stop here?

What is required now of everybody, particularly decision makers, is to go through the King’s drafts, His propositions, go over them carefully, and derive the tasks and objectives of the next phase from the very context and spirit of His Majesty’s propositions.

These Royal drafts and documents have outlined Jordan’s political future, and the very specific tasks of each authority. The State has indeed begun implementing them in parts, particularly since the second phase of constitutional amendments, and His Majesty’s persistence on sustaining the current government on the conditional basis of parliamentary trust.

Do we add to these steps? And what amendments are necessary in the aftermath of the experimental government of Dr. Abdullah Nsour?

Because, inside the halls of governance and outside, there are those who believe the experiment was a failure, whilst other believe it was born a-limp.

While we are not in the business of making out whether these statements are correct or not, the discussion—however, has to revolve around what needs to be done now, today before tomorrow comes around, should the government be serious about rectifying curricular mistakes and the development of governmental discourse that are in line with the requirements of the modern democratic state His Majesty spoke of in His propositions.

It is not unlikely that the King may Himself be interested in reviewing these papers personally to better them out even, based on His experience over past years with the Government and Parliament.

Accordingly, contemplating the questions of the next phase is much more important that the pursuit of speculations on when statesmen and members of parliament are to step down.

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