A Flavourless Government

By: Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Wed 1 June / Jun 2016. 08:33 PM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

Dr Hani Mulqi’s government is “Transitional”; this is not a secret. The primary tasks of this formation are —also— just as clear; to support and aid the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) in their mission to conduct clean and transparent Representative Elections, soon; as well as to address the economic issue.

However, with the declared formation of the new government, we find —for starters; that it is overly large, and fairly disproportionate in its size to task demanding to wisely address the suffocating economic crisis! In fact, too many have been appointed ministers. Enough is being spent on pensions as it is!

As far as the government’s role goes, in regards to the upcoming elections; it is confined to political encouragement of participation, as the IEC is to take over the rest of the procedures to get the job done right.

That aside, the new government is in charge of tackling the economic concern proficiently over the next four months.

Evidently, not much change has been tolled to the economic team within the Cabinet. Yet, relieving the former Minister of Industry and Trade with, the recently resigned government, Maha Ali; does make it seem as if she was responsible for hindering necessary progress! Which is not the case.

On the other hand, heading the economic team with the new government; Minister Jawad Anani, was appointed with a rather lengthy title: “Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Industry, Trade, and Supply”.

Anani’s expertise are extensive, close to five decades, polished and advanced over the multitude of positions held during his career. But according to some who know him personally, his propositions and theories never broke the seal of tradition; almost always “conventional”. More so, some of his visions were actually implemented, yet; the results were not so different. Otherwise, Anani’s proponents see he is capable of instilling the “team” framework, and run different sectors to the greater benefit of the Country.

In spite of this disparity, it is still safe to say that the government has little margin to manoeuvre, outlined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) via the new 4-year Economic Reform Programme, implementable by end of 2016. And the government has no time to waste; they need to get to work immediately.

Nonetheless, contrary to the narrow margin within the financial sphere in particular, especially in terms of tackling imbalances as a step towards sound economic resolve to decrease general indebtedness; there is a wide area to manoeuvre around potential investment. Succeeding in this required, of course; of the government to do their homework, so that promising partnerships with Saudi institutions, commissions, and companies can be established towards a positive premise.

In this regard, the formation of the government itself will not allow it to go through, given —first— by favour of its own description and category; as though it has no identity; lacking homogeneity, due to the disparity in views and thought. This also makes it even harder to predict whether or not it will be able to meet its tasks, economically speaking here!

After all, the size of Dr Mulqi’s government, with all the extra ministerial baggage and weight entailed, useless given the transitional phase; indicates that the selection and formation mechanism has not changed, since the first government during the rule of late King Hussein, formulated then by Fawzi Mulqi, all the way to the new one today, six decades later; formed by his son. Perhaps even worse; maybe we have regressed!

Back then, political party life was brisk, and general political awareness was widespread. Today, however, our parties —for the most of them— are more or less bazars and shops, bought and sold; and our widespread political awareness is false, as well as very low.