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Reformist House-based group accuses gov’t of ‘failing to deliver’

By Khaled Neimat - May 18,2014 - Last updated at May 18,2014

AMMAN — A row has surfaced between the government and the House-based reformist group, threatening a partnership that was seen as a new trend in Jordan’s political life.

The group, Mubadara, accuses the government of failing to make good on its promises, while a senior official says Mubadara has been acting in a “rejected authoritative manner”.  

“Yes, it is a crisis as long as Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour wants it to be a crisis,” Mubadara founder and spokesperson MP Mustafa Hamarneh (Madaba 1st District) told The Jordan Times Sunday.

Hamarneh said the government has failed to take advantage of the “historical momentum that has been building to help our country overcome the many challenges it faces”.

He said that after a long time of negotiations with the government, “it is not willing to be part of the efforts to realise real and tangible reforms”.

However, an official source who spoke under condition of anonymity said it seems Hamarneh and his colleagues “want to guide the government through” and “to tell us what to do and what not to do, a thing we will not agree with at all. This is against the constitutional principle of separation between powers.” 

Referring to reports alleging that Mubadara has claimed it has the support of the Royal Court, the source said it is not correct to involve the Royal Court in the row between the lawmakers and the government.

Hamarneh has repeatedly denied as baseless these reports. 

According to Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Khaled Kalaldeh, the government has been very cooperative with Mubadara, having formed 19 committees and subcommittees to work with Mubadara team to overcome certain difficulties facing the agreed upon policies.

Quick results are not expected under the partnership with Mubadara, Kalaldeh said, denying there had been any deliberate attempt from the government to block the implementation of Mubadara’s ideas and programmes.

“We are willing to re-engage, provided that the government pledge to commit to the agreed upon policy papers,” Hamarneh said, referring to plans his bloc has released to the public after agreeing on them with the government, stating its suggestions to address major problems the country is struggling with. 

Mubadara members held a meeting on Sunday “to show solidarity and unity” in the face of the government’s reluctance to implement the agreed upon policy papers.  

Hamarneh stated following the meeting: “Mubadara has delivered but the government has not”.

 

No more support under Dome

 

Hamarneh said that if the government wants to re-engage with Mubadara, it has to show “genuine commitment this time”.   

Otherwise, the government will face an uphill battle under the Dome, as it will lose the 32-strong group’s support, which has so far helped Ensour and his team survive two votes of no-confidence. 

Mubadara has evolved over the past few months into an influential parliamentary power that will officially become a bloc by October, said Hamarneh. 

The group, which has been marketing itself as a shadow government, reached a deal last year with the government to grant husbands and children of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians full civil rights.

Most recently, official sources said the government committee entrusted with examining the plan, which faced resistance due to political sensitivities, has already completed its work and submitted findings and recommendations to the government.

The decision is expected to serve interests of more than 350,000 individuals, who are non-Jordanians married to Jordanian women and their offspring.

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