By Fahed Khitan

Drastic Times…

The widespread confusion which came with the recent Karak events and afterwards receded, and our visions have cleared enough for us to examine the shortcomings of the respective state institutions.

From the incidents in Qatranah, through the Karak Castle, the standoffs in Qrafella, and the motion to censure the Minister of Interior, all the way to the bickering and the baffle between Cabinet and MPs, and finally at the tax bomb which was barely deactivated in time before it blew off in the middle of the “street”. More attention was given to the deactivation of these catastrophic decisions than the crises themselves, this includes all members of the government, even the premier.

The core question is; is it an issue of individuals or an issue of mechanisms and policies?

The public opinion tends to blame officials personally and individually, directly. Many would begin their suggestions by calling to resign some officials, but this is only partially the problem; it does not address the problem comprehensively and thoroughly, and has been previously adopted, as ministers were resigned and substituted over and over, to no end.

True; the qualification of officials does reflect massively on the institution performance of the State body. But this time, the crises were evident institution-wide, to the point that our institutions seemed weak and fragile beyond our worst expectations; be it with its tighter halls or within the Cabinet itself.

It is clear in His Majesty’s letter to the new Public Security Director, assigned Monday, that this issue has been irking His Majesty’s sleep. Which is why the Royal Directives in these regards were explicit in every paragraph.

One would be amazed by the degree of discoordination between the pillars of state security; the Karak incidents prove it, and that the government’s economic crew barely ever convenes.

Just hours after the King’s return, the Prime Minister and his Secretary of Finance addressed the House of Representatives on a heavy weight bundle of taxation bills in an exceptional meet with the MPs’ financial committee, which later on turned into a social event, as opposed to a high profile conference headed by the Minister of Finance.

To make things worse, the premier’s statements just had to contradict with those of his Minister! So the prime minister intervened and reaffirmed that the government has no intention to raise the price of household gas!

Notwithstanding, there is the issue of the motion to censure the minister of interior. Until the day it was signed, it was just a primitive pop. But due to the negligence and dysfunctional administration, given the lack of coordination between the heads of government and parliament, the pop turned into a highly volatile bomb, each side scared out of their head of dropping it under the dome.

I have been all over the memo since day one, and I have yet to hear of any exceptional or advanced meeting scheduled to discuss it, until now that the King is back.

Nothing was more frustrating than the fact that everybody under the dome and the roof of the Fourth Circle were paralyses pending His Majesty’s return to defuse the bombs which were wired by the State’s very own officials!

On some levels, the media department for example, it seems some heavy players have begun addressing some of the deformities, as well as in the security spheres, where the King has intervened to pull things together, after a long night in the Crisis Administration operation room.

It is said that the government has entered a phase of revaluation and “enhancement”, and that the connection between the government and the MPs office have begun to clear.

As important as all that is, there is a pressing need in these drastic to holistically review the performance of the State institution, in order to stop the deterioration and initiate effective coordination.

It goes without saying, this would require massive efforts and drastic changes in the basic dynamics.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.

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