Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Jordan: Postelection challenges  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 30/01/2013

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


 


(MENAFN - Arab News) Jordanians who voted last week for a new legislature chose stability over uncertainty and by doing so they gave the regime a much needed boost to pursue its version of political and economic reforms.

Most pundits got it wrong the day before. They talked about a lackluster campaign by over one thousand candidates running for the 150-seat Lower House, and they pointed to two years of public protests calling for political and constitutional reforms. They highlighted the drawbacks in a controversial election law that favored tribal figures and wealthy businessmen and they alluded to growing frustrations over official corruption, nepotism and failure by successive governments to deal with economic challenges. They expected a low turnout of voters and a political setback for the regime.

They were wrong. As polls closed the newly formed Independent Election Commission (IEC), which oversaw the voting process, declared that a record 56 percent of registered voters had cast their vote. The figure was higher than anyone had anticipated. The opposition, led by the Islamic Action Front (IAF), cried foul. It had boycotted the election and said that voter turnout will be exceptionally low. But unlike in previous years, this election was open, free and transparent. International observers had certain reservations but they vouched for its integrity. King Abdallah and his government had guaranteed its credibility and regardless of the final results they had kept their promise.

After two years of public protests demanding reforms, the king was able to navigate the country through treacherous waters. He delivered some important constitutional and political reforms; amending the constitution, forming a Constitutional Court, the IEC, introducing national lists to the election process and firing an unpopular Parliament. He promised additional reforms once the elections were over. He even talked about an evolving constitutional monarchy, much different from the one he inherited more than a decade ago. The opposition, a loose alliance between the Islamists, the country's most organized political force, and smaller secular parties, was never impressed.

It demanded immediate concessions and wanted a more favorable election law.

But election results showed that their size and influence were exaggerated.
Jordanians ignored calls to boycott the polls and even in opposition hotbeds like Tafileh and Maan voter participation reached more than 70 percent.

King Abdallah's keen reading of the domestic and regional scenes won the day. The initial euphoria surrounding the Arab Spring had subsided by the end of last year. Jordanians became skeptical of its end results as they watched events unfold in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. In conservative tribal regions of the country, as well as in urban areas, fear of an Islamist agenda to take over the country became prominent. It did not help that the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Hammam Said, talked about an Islamic state in Jordan at an opposition rally a week before the elections.

But the king said that the new Parliament will launch a fresh political process in Jordan beginning with the formation of parliamentary governments.

The composition of the new legislature had disappointed observers. Like previous Parliaments it is comprised mostly of tribal figureheads, moderate Islamists and wealthy businessmen. The national lists with 27 seats, introduced to increase the presence of political parties and coalitions in the legislature, had proved an utter failure. Only one list, belonging to a moderate Islamist party, was able to win three seats. The rest were shared by more than 20 lists. In the final analysis the new Lower House has no viable opposition. It is unlikely that it will oversee major political reforms.

Elections have become an end and not a mean for change in Jordan. While Jordanians voted for stability and continuity, allowing the regime to fulfill its own vision for reforms, their expectations are now higher than before. They want to see a genuine campaign to uproot corruption and bring those who pilfered money and benefited from their official position to justice. And after three years of recession they want to see light at the end of the tunnel.
The new government will have many challenges to overcome. Last time the government adopted austerity measures, by ending fuel subsidies, Jordanians took to the streets and violent confrontations ensued. The outgoing Prime Minister, Dr. Abdullah Nsour, has talked about necessary measures to raise the cost of electricity soon. The temporary hiatus in public protests may end abruptly if the government implements these new measures.

There is a sense that the core of Jordan's problems is not political but economic and that if the economy begins to recover this year and the challenges of unemployment and poverty are met then things will cool down.
So far the king has been able to stay a step ahead of the opposition. But surmounting economic problems, made even worse by the presence of more than 300,000 Syrian refugees in the country, will prove to be his biggest challenge in the coming few months.

Osama Al Sharif is a journalist and political commentator based in Amman.

 






  MENA News Headlines
Apr 24 2014Qatar- HH Sheikha Moza Meets Mayor of Kobe Visits RIKEN Research Institution ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kobe April 24 - Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development (QF) today held a meeting with the ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- Sidra-BMC Event Boosts Biomedical Research Publishing ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - A symposium organised jointly by Sidra Medical Research Centre and BioMed Central (BMC) mulled trends in research and on open access publishing here ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- Mannai Corp Q1 Net Profit up 73% to QR 150.1 Million ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - Qatar Exchange listed Mannai Corporation (QE: MCCS) net profit is up 73% to QR 150.1 Million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 ending March 31 ...

Apr 24 2014Bahraini firms forecasted to grow 10 pct ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) In a report based on a study of over 650 companies across GCC, Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) forecasts a growth of the Bahraini companies' earnings by 10 percent in 2014, Gulf Daily News ...

Apr 24 2014Israeli Army Storms Deir Samit Village West of Hebron ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) bron April 24 - Israeli army forces stormed at dawn Thursday Deir Samit village southwest of Hebron city in the West Bank. The Israeli forces conducted raid and search ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar Airways to add more seats on Doha-Vienna route ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar Airways plans to offer more 1.700 seats on its Doha-Vienna route beginning from September 2014, according to Gulf News. The company aims to expand the growing passenger demand from ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- QFC Authority Five-a-Side Football Tournament Kicks Off ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority's first Five-a-side Football Tournament is displaying dribbling skills of executives from Doha's financial ...

Apr 24 2014Georgian Justice Minister Leaves Doha ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - HE Minister of Justice of Georgia Tia Tsulukiana left Doha on Thursday morning wrapping up a two-day official visit to the country. An agreement on ...

Apr 24 2014Egyptian Premier Off to Chad ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Cairo April 24 - Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlib left cairo on Thursday for Chad the first leg of a three-day two-state trip that will also take him to Tanzania ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar Stock Exchange Down 0.05% ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - The Qatar Exchange ended in the red area when trading closed Thursday at 12954.93 points (0.05%) down 6.63 points from the previous closing of 12961.56 ...

Apr 24 2014Afghan Guard Shoots Dead 3 Foreigners in Hospital ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kabul April 24 - Three foreigners including a doctor were shot dead and their colleague wounded when a guard of a private Cure Hospital opened fire on them in the ...

Apr 24 2014Israeli Tanks Enter Gaza Border area ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Gaza April 24 - Six Israeli military tanks on Thursday entered a border area in the southern Gaza Strip witnesses said. The tanks crossed into Gaza in an area called ...

Apr 24 2014Uruguay Public Health Minister Meets HE Qatari Ambassador ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Montevideo April 24 -Minister of Public Health in Uruguay Maria Susana Mu?iz met here on Thursday with HE qatari ambassador to the republic of Uruguay mohamed hassan ...

Apr 24 2014President Salva Kiir Relieves his Chief of the General Staff ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Juba April 24 -South Sudanese President Salva Kiir relieved Chief of the General Staff of south sudan army James Hoth Mai. This came in a presidential decree aired ...

Apr 24 2014Omani non-oil exports to enter African markets ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) A senior official at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) said that the Sultanate is seeking expansion in new African markets, in a time it is looking forward to reduce its ...

Apr 24 2014Australian Federal Parliament Deputy Speaker Meets HE Qatari Ambassador ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Canberra April 24 - Australian Federal Parliament Deputy Speaker Bruce Scott met here Thursday with HE Qatar's Ambassador to Australia Yousef bin Ali Al ...

Apr 24 20143 GCC countries among top 30 on network readiness index ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) According to an annual global technology survey for network readiness index for 2014, three GCC countries have made it to the top 30 list for the third year in a row, Gulf Daily News ...

Apr 24 2014Morocco Admitted As Observer Member to SICA ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) La Romana Dominican April 24 - Morocco has been admitted as an observer member in the Central American Integration System (SICA) which also includes each of Belize ...

Apr 24 2014UN Chief: All Parties in Syria Blocking Aid ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) w York April 24 - The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has accused all parties in Syria's civil war of "flagrant violations" of international law over the delivery of ...

Apr 24 2014Aqaba Container Terminal Contributes to Elevating Standards of Pre-School Education ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT), the world's gateway to Jordan and beyond, recently held a charity dinner in collaboration with the Aqaba Intercontinental Hotel. The event, held at the ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help