Constitutional Amendments… No Political Context?!

By: Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Wed 20 April / Apr 2016. 10:56 PM
  • Fahed Khitan

Did the bundle of constitutional amendments come as a surprise to most of the public sector?

I would say so; it is evident from the flood of questions and inquiries posed by the elites, as well as the public, regarding the point of the amendments, their timing, and future indications.

Talk about constitutional amendments spun within tight circles, and no one really knew the details of the intended rearrangements, nor their timing. At an earlier time though, the common conception was that these constitutional amendments revolved around the articles and terms that prohibited multi-nationals from attaining political positions, and the Prime Minister who had dissolves Parliament from forming the next government; which was not redressed in the amendments.

Eventually, the government suggested a bundle of amendments, two days ago, and referred it to the House of Representatives with urgency, without prefaces, retaining only what is obligatory in terms of legislation and amendment.

However formal and straight forward, when it comes to constitutional amendments, this doesn’t suffice a step of such magnitude, and it should have been given a political context, so that it may be pinpointed on the roadmap towards reformation; a matter once greatly deliberated by the Government and by His Majesty King Abdullah II.

The summarised and generalised answers we were given by the Government under the Dome, are not enough. There are questions that demand extensive, thorough responses. Amongst them, for example, is the question of whether or not the amendments to His Majesty’s authorities come in part of a step that prefaces granting the House of Representatives more constitutional authorities to assign the Prime Minister!

On point, President of the Assigned Senate, Faisal Fayez, who happens to be closely positioned to the circles of decision, insinuated that; saying yesterday, that these constitutional amendments pave the way to the formation of party government.

Should that be true, are there intentions to propose a fourth constitutional amendment to this end?

Some, the day before yesterday, said that the amendments contradict with the deliberation papers of His Majesty. And this doesn’t seem at all accurate. But there has to be a publically held discussion that puts things into perspective.

When the Royal Commission was assigned to review the articles of the constitution four years ago, to instate amendments that go beyond the 1952 Constitution’s, the Commission were about to adopt the suggestion of having half of the Senate (Upper House) elected, and the other have appointed; this proposition, however, was agreed to be left openly for the next phase. Does the proposed bundle constitutional amendments annul the possibility of such an articulation absolutely? Or can it be approached in the future?

It would be wrong to dismiss the inquiries of public opinion and the denotations of specialists. And it is, I think, not too late to give this currently underway bundle of amendments a political context. It is important for the ranking officials and respective parties to break their silence, clarify the amendments, and put things into objective light, outlining the face and characteristics of the coming stage.