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Promising start

Jul 15,2018 - Last updated at Jul 15,2018

The deliberations of the Lower House of Parliament over Prime Minister Omar Razzaz’s policy statement presented to it last week were off to a promising start on Sunday, when heads of blocs and independent deputies took the floor to either heap praise on Razzaz or mildly criticise his political platform.

As expected, the deputies took turns to express their points of view after benefitting from a week-long direct contact between them and the prime minister. While it is still premature to say whether the Lower House would ultimately vote in favour of a vote of confidence or not, the odds are leaning heavily in favour of the government winning their vote of confidence with a comfortable margin.

Obviously, the projected revamped income tax system dominated the deputies’ remarks. Economic hardships, unemployment and high costs of living can be also expected to dominate the deputies’ interventions.

Foreign policy issues, on the other hand, are not expected to figure highly in the parliamentary debate. With the new waves of Syrian refugees approaching the country's border in the north now subsiding and no longer posing a threat, and the Palestinian conflict not dominating the news on the regional and international stage for the time being, the eyes of MPs are turning to local issues.

The soft spoken premier was quite successful and persuasive in his last week's engagement of blocs and deputies and this went a long way to win him better understanding and support. Gentle and non-confrontational Razzaz must have won the hearts of his interlocutors over the past few weeks to assure him a wider support across the political spectrum in the country.

Yet, there could be few surprises during the ongoing debate over his political platform and the next few days would tell for sure whether the pendulum would swing in his favour or not.

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