Saturday, January 28, 2006

National agenda published

The NA is finally published on line. There is no place to provide feedback, as was promised initially. So, I will have to make do with making my comments in the blogosphere (as if I had any intention to do otherwise).

It has been over two months since it was delivered to the king, and a lot has happened since then. In Arabic, we say (zay illiy rayeh a'al Hajj wil nas mrawha ), meaning, "Like the person going to the Hajj while everybody is going home (after the Hajj)". Basically, it is too late, and I am not even sure that it is relevant to talk about the NA any more.

Yesterday, Marwan Muasher spoke about the document, and stressed that the ill-conceived income tax law had nothing to do with the NA, and that the NAC stressed the unconstitutional nature of temporary laws that don't meet the guidelines for issuing them. I find it hard to believe this. How can the head of the NAC have this conviction, and at the same time be the deputy prime minister for a cabinet that does the exact opposite? Fahed Fanek wrote that the rejection of the income tax law was a blow to the NA. Of course, I don't blame Muasher for trying to weasel out of his responsibility, as hard a task as that might be. I think that what happened is a good lesson that any reform effort will have to follow the existing constitutional framework. It is a hard but worthwhile lesson.

Having said all of that, I still think that the NA deserves a hearing. A lot of work went into it, and I will try to give some input, just in case anybody cares what I think.

I will be off line for the next week or so. I will have more later, God willing.


At 6:15 AM, Blogger iranico said...

Hi khalaf. I am a big fan of your blog, and check in from time to time. I am a researcher in the US who is doing his dissertation on (imagined) political reform and education in boys government high schools in Amman.

I was looking for an English version of the National Agenda document. Do you know if one exists? Hope you see this post. If you wish and our can help, you can hit me back on my usually defunct blog, Iranico. but I think I selected an option that will have you email your comments to my email, which I do check regularly. thanks again and keep up the good work!


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