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King diagnoses political ills.

By Maha Al-Sharif Political pundits were squeezing their minds pondering at the level of political discord, among the legislative and executive authorities in the country, that forced the Hashemite Monarch to address both authorities on the people's frustration with their elected representatives. His Majesty initiated a key milestone to framework the duties and responsibilities of the executive and legislative authorities. This initiative aims at building a modern Jordan for all, with the efforts focused on endeavors to bridge the gaps, in a country facing many challenges; this necessitates shouldering the responsibilities a must rather than a choice. He spoke for the public, their aspirations and wishes for a better Jordan that embraces all, where Jordan always comes first. Former Chief of The Royal Hashemite Court, Mr Adnan Abu Odeh, said, "This is one of the most significant speeches the King has made since his accession to the throne, simply because the speech did not address only the policies and the guidelines usually his majesty is used to stress. This time, in addition to that, he addressed the functioning of the state--the way how the two major authorities, the legislative and the executive function. He was very critical; in fact he was speaking on behalf of the public, because Jordanians, especially recently, have witnessed slandering thrown out across the political divide. The deputies have failed to understand their role with regard to the vote of confidence; the exercise has turned out to be an extortionist instrument, rather than a political position. To start the sort of political position which triggers a dialogue to the interests of the state, and to see it becoming a sort of extortionist insturment, that is really too bad--it has been a big variation from the constitution and from what is meant by 'vote of confidence'. Having said that, we as observers from outside have noticed that the responsibilities of the parliament have been marred by personal interests and objectives. His Majesty talked about 'wasta' becoming the start of a career of corruption; if someone starts his work as deputy by championing wasta, it seems that s/he is emphasizing the role of corruption in our daily life. So I think that the functioning of the state in this critical manner is very important, and I hope the target or the audience to whom the speech was addressed to should understand their role and should abide by the constitution in the right way in order to serve the country. I believe also that the King's criticism of Parliament, as a body lacking the confidence of the public, is very meaningful and very indicative. It might be followed by early elections for example." President of the General Federation of Jordanian Women, Ms Anas Saket, believes that the Monarch's speech came as a commentary on the political scene, and was a request for all to shoulder responsibility for the benefit of the country and said, "Some may comment that the royal speech was a surprise, and the invitation to the political elites was not expected; but it was clear that the conflict between the government and the deputies was not resolved even after it was granted the confidence." She pointed out that the clash still exists and the instability of the atmosphere is always there, since rumors and switch of attitude have not faded. She added, "His Majesty is keen to know each and every detail, and proved he does," His speech came to mark a very crucial phase that should be left behind for the benefits of all, as the speech stressed on the necessity to balance the political powers and that everyone should feel responsibility s/he owes to the country.When asking Deputy Ghazi Al Zaben about the King's criticisms of the Lower House of Parliament, he said that it was a call to look in the mirror, and that we shouldn't look at it as a criticism addressed to Parliamentarians or politicians in general but should be viewed as a beam of gaudiness to all without being limited to us. It surely echoes the King's weariness with the attitudes and conflicts of interest that reflect negatively on the country's national interest. His Majesty referred to the relationship between the legislature and the government and the latest conflict between both, warning that this relationship shouldn't be a struggle but should aim at achieving the interest of both Jordan and its citizens. The President of Jordan Engineers Association Wa'el Al-Saqqa said that the speech came to mirror all the people's demands for justice, equality, transparency, and commitment to one principle that applies to all without duality in standards under all circumstances, besides the availability of equal opportunities to all citizens. "The speech provided comfort for all associations; we hope that the actual enforcement of the above mentioned rises to our expectations and is not merely a speech which commentaries and columns address in newspapers. We rely on our parliament as the people's representatives in monitoring, following up and auditing the government's performance. The MPs are responsible for following up matters and should not be embark on actions that cause harm to all. The relationship governing those in authority, whether legislative or executive, should be revised and put in a proper framework, and channels of dialogue should always be open among them. Otherwise the only loser is the citizen."Member of Al Wasat Party, Ms Nawal Faouri declared that His Majesty's speech was direct and clear to all political streams that bear the task of guiding Jordan in these hard times. "The differences had reached a very high level between the legislative and executive authorities, despite His Majesty's efforts to amend the relationship between them, causing complicated political and economic problems, adding to the already existing ones," she said. Faouri could see that His Majesty has reached a point where he can no longer tolerate the inefficiency of those trying to find solutions to unemployment, poverty and related economical issues with no feasible results at hand, or achieve progress in altering the traditional norms that prevent members of the Jordanian society from earning an honest living by manual labor.King diagnoses political ills

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Publication:The Star (Amman, Jordan)
Date:Aug 21, 2005
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