Saturday, October 08, 2005

Bad news for the National Agenda

Elaph has a report on major differences between the government, the National Agenda committee and the parliament on the results of the work of the NAC. Whereas the emphasis is on the press law, I am sure that any substantial output will probably be controversial. Any bold initiatives by definition are controversial, and thus they need to have strong political will and legitimacy to back them up.

At the start of his tenure, Badran avoided stating a program for his government, saying that his program will be clear when the NAC recommendations are made. Now it looks like he really doesn't agree with some of the NAC ideas. Basically, his deputy Marwan Muasher (the coordinator and driving force of the NAC) has a greater say on government policy than the PM himself. This is quite an interesting political dilemma. Of course, it is Badran's fault that he abdicated his right to determine policy from the beginning.

The parliament is against the NAC results because there will be rule changes in the election law which might not favor reelection of many of the MP's. Moreover, if new rules for elections are made, then the parliament should be dissolved and a new parliament should be elected based on the new rules. Thus the opposition of the parliament to the NAC recommendations is normal.

In the face of opposition from the PM and the MP's to the NAC recommendations, the question is whether these recommendations will ever be implemented. As mentioned above, this will need strong political will and legitimacy. I believe that HM the king will probably stand by the NAC, but the legal tools to implement the recommendations are not clear. Legislation needs to be enacted for implementation of many of the recommendations. If the parliament refuses, then the government can enact temporary laws when the parliament is in recess. However, since the government is not on board either, then a new mechanism should be explored. I believe that the only way to give legitimacy to the recommendations is to put them up for a national referendum.


At 7:13 PM, Blogger Lina said...

interesting post Khalaf... I really enjoy your blog!

Personally I really hope they put it up for a vote in a national referendum, because I do not trust the parliament to represent me... and because this National Agenda feels like a golden opportunity to move things forward and make a step towards transition, so it would be a big shame to have it put on the shelf.

and just for the sake of stating my opinion: I do NOT think that membership in the journalist's union should be mandatory...

At 7:31 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Hi Lina

I am glad you like what I am saying. In essence, my greatest objection to the NAC recommendations, as leaked to the press, are that they are not bold enough. The recommendations to change the media and the election laws are largely cosmetic, as I said in my previous posts on the subjects.

As for mandatory membership in the journalists union, I doubt that it makes a difference either way.


At 4:33 AM, Blogger Ziad said...

"However, since the government is not on board either"

Since when does a Jordanian government say "no" to something that the king wants? :)

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...


Good point ;)

At 2:17 AM, Blogger jameed, RPh, MS said...


i need to have a talk with you.

jameed (wearing a leather jacket with dark glasses and reading the newspaper)

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Ziad said...

Don't trouble yourself Jameedo, this is what they call "baiting" or "fishing"; I'm just trying to trap some of these "closet revolutionaries" (i.e. I'm on an undercover mission), sorta like what some taxi drivers used to do in Amman back in the days :)

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Publisher said...



Post a Comment

<< Home