Mulqi’s Gov’t in Nsoor’s Shadow

By: Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Tue 7 June / Jun 2016. 07:43 PM
  • Fahed Khitan

This government is outlandishly ambitious. Within days, they will uncover their action plan for the public to translate the Letter of Delegation into clear executive programmes.

Every issue or predicament on the mind of Jordanian citizens will find echo in the plan; poverty and unemployment, Investment Fund projects in partnership with Saudi Arabia, decentralisation plans, and the outcomes of the London Conference. More importantly, we will hear about conclusive arrangements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Prime Minister Dr Hani Mulqi is open to all suggestions, and is ready to communicate all around the clock, to the extent that he has provided the journalists he met last Sunday at the Prime Ministry his personal phone number.

The government, according to Deputy PM, Dr Jawad Anani, does not think much about the problems, as they are clear and known. The government’s focus will be on innovating solutions to those problems.

Mulqi insists that his government is neither transitional nor for the limited duration of four months, but the government for the next phase. Which is why longer term considerations when planning are being taken, beyond a few months. Mulqi persisted to state that His Majesty did not mention, not once; the term “transitional” in the Letter of Delegation, while recollecting explicitly and openly that Dr Abdullah Nsoor’s first government was transitional.

Evidently, Mulqi aspires to endure beyond the elections, mentioning nothing in this regard to confining his wishes to the dynamics and concepts of Parliamentary government, adopted by the State post the last elections. Mulqi’s ministers are just as persistently ambitious. Whenever he would bring this topic up, they would nod in agreement.

The meet with Mulqi and his Ministerial team of seven was on the first day the government commenced their duties, said the Premier. While it was obvious that the ministers had not yet arranged their cards, save for those of the previous government.

With much vigour throughout the discourse on the variety of matters, suddenly; this starts to fade as concern takes the stead the moment talks about the new IMF programme begin on what obligations, commitments, and preconditions are to be panned out.

The highlights on the agreement with the Fund have already been agreed upon, assured Minister of Finance Omar Malhas, but there are details that need more deliberation to make the best out of its outcomes, and lessen its negative implications on citizens and people with limited income.

However, Mulqi’s newly formed team, while having just begun; has yet to create the needed heterogeneity among its members. This was obvious from the disparity in positions on the previous phase and its policies. Given the nature of Mulqi’s hybrid cabinet of new ministers and some of Nsoor’s resigned government, it seems to us as though we stand before two governments on one table; Mulqi’s and Nsoor’s. In parts of the debate I felt as if I am in meet with Nsoor’s cabinet, until the Premier of his Deputy start talking, that is when I am reminded that we are in the presence of a new government.

In short, Nsoor’s shadow lingered over the halls of the guesthouse where he had once resided; maybe because of the extended duration Nsoor spent in the Fourth Circle.

Mulqi needs some time to rid the house of its spirits, or else it will strike division among his team.