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Laying strong foundations for reform

Nov 16,2021 - Last updated at Nov 16,2021

His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday sent strong and direct messages about the need to move forward with endorsing the legislation and amendments necessary to realise the desired political reform.

In his Speech from the Throne at the opening of the first ordinary session of the 19th Parliament, the King directed legislators to engage in deliberations and endorse the election and political parties’ laws, and the proposed constitutional amendments submitted by the government.

The home-grown amendments, which lay the foundations for serious and effective party-based work, usher in a new political era in Jordan as they open the door for all political parties to encourage the public to effectively engage in the decision making process.

The King said that the overall objective of the amendments and reforms is to ensure progress towards party-based parliaments, stressing the vital need to develop parties built on feasible and measurable programmes that serve the public interest and result in active and productive engagement on all national and local levels.

The King did not only call on political parties to live up to their responsibilities, but also stressed that the proposed draft laws are rooted in the Constitution and include guarantees for partisan engagement, in which “we will not allow obstruction or interference from any side”.

Assuaging concerns about challenges facing Jordan, King Abdullah said that the Kingdom will remain “a shining example of progress, sacrifice, achievement, and overcoming challenges, no matter how great”.

On economic development and administrative reform, the King said that the aim is to recover from the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis, and to build a firm basis for efficient partnership between the public and the private sectors to establish investments that provide job opportunities, stimulate growth, and tap into promising sectors and qualified human resources.

The Palestinian issue featured highly in the speech of the King, who, as the Hashemite Custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, stressed that Jordan has been dedicated to the Palestinian cause like no other—”this is our duty”.

Jordan will continue to stand with its Palestinian brethren until they gain their full rights, and establish their independent state on their national soil, the King said.

“The Hashemite Custodianship is a responsibility I am honoured to carry, to safeguard Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. This is a commitment to our Hashemite principles and legacy, and is an embodiment of our free will and national resolve, in which we will tolerate no interference or compromise,” the King said.

So now, once again, Parliament has its work cut out for it.

Additionally, political parties need to be more active in mobilising public participation in Jordan’s parliamentary elections and formation of the government.

Speeding up the endorsement of the progressive legislation and amendments would speed up the journey towards required political reforms, which will also boost public confidence 

that the reform process is possible and attainable.

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