By Jumana Ghunaimat
In public debates, there is a question that is constantly asked: Who is the best prime minister that came during the era of His Majesty King Abdullah II?
Of course, different answers come back; depending on the background of the respondent or the relationship with the Prime Minister. The answers, naturally, do not depend on any methodology, because the latter is governed by method of selecting the premier, and that does not come until now from a political party with a clear program and specific goals and plans.
As a result, frankly, the assessments of governments remain, as well as their premier, subject to the mood, impression, and/or hopes, just as the choice of the prime minister is, which is currently depending on the nomination by the deputies, based on a consensus on the person of the premier among the majority of the House of Representatives.
But as long as the chosen person arrives at the "Fourth Circle", and sat on the chair, there is an important criterion Jordanians generally take into account in the assessment of his government, compared to the previous and subsequent counterparts, which is how long he stayed in his job. This becomes much more important than what the government is seeking to accomplish at the country level, and whether it brought about the desired change in many files.
It is true that d. Abdullah Eagles did not have a program, and was not offered by a party for the post. But he is the first prime minister to achieve a parliamentary majority before progressing to request confidence of Representatives, but it is also true, in contrast, that optimism prevailed as he reached the fourth circle due to his background parliamentary opposition, based on political and economic vision.
But with the passage of more than two years now on Dr. Ensour’s government in the Fourth Circle, it seems that apathy may have hit the state, and thus his team; it has become less motivated to work, and became focused as it seems on the details, not the main issues. It is said that his attention is more focused on literature and culture, after the government’s sole concern became to buy time; maybe it can hit a record in longevity.
Interpretation of the efforts of Dr. Ensour to achieve this record, is explained from different angles. Some believe that his age and health and play a role in it. His rivals believe that paying attention to the larger issues affecting the country, has never been present in his mind. His work, according to them, was always limited to the executive procedural files, away from the strategic issues.
It is the right of any head of government to aspire to stay as long as possible in his position; it is not a shame to work on a record at this level. But what is a serious problem is that time becomes the target and end basis.
For example, one of the real battles of the current government is the battle of enlightenment and counter extremist ideology, and to develop a comprehensive plan. But it seems that the rule "Mr. Nice Guy" has prevailed, as not to fight this battle is the best; it shuts the door on all controversies over the government's performance. As for the facing the challenges of development, the second important issue, the offered solutions remain superficial, and the real work remains postponed; we find the unemployment issue, for example, which haunts the society as a whole, without an actual plan.
Back to the question of both the public and the elites on the best prime minister, I guess that the only correct answer, always, is he/she who creates a positive difference in people's lives. The longevity of the government is a secondary issue, only murmured by members of the government.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition