Rumors float on shuffle in Cabinet accused of poor performance

Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh. (File Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/JNews)
Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh. (File Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — A rumor circulating in the usually gossip-ridden capital city suggests that Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh is in the process of carrying out a cabinet reshuffle as his government approaches its second year this month.اضافة اعلان

The Council of Ministers has experienced four cabinet reshuffles since taking office in a year that witnessed idle business activity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subsequently, the government was faced with soaring inflation, and rising food and fuel prices following Russia’s war on Ukraine last February, which resulted in the interruption of global supply chains.

Domestically, the government was rocked by a toxic gas leak in the port of Aqaba that killed 13 people and injured 265 others on June 27. A container carrying 25 tonnes of Chlorine fell from a crane onto a docked ship and ruptured, sending a cloud of bright, yellow gas in the port and its vicinity. The leak was blamed on the failure of the cabling system and negligence of some port officials.

But even before the gas leak, the Cabinet was in hot waters with pundits, who accused it publicly of poor performance, and pointed to successive ministers being unable to deal with crises, including the pandemic and the soaring prices.

Columnist Omar Kallab said much of the decisions taken in the past two years are “governed by Royal will, and economic and political necessity”.

“There is no need for a reshuffle now,” he told Jordan News.

“In normal circumstances, public opinion is not a decisive factor in whether the government should leave or remain,” he pointed out.

He said the government “needs a new royal mandate in line with what is being proposed, politically and economically, and all of this is not even in the book under which the government operates”.

He noted that a royal message may “come to the government assigning it with a new mandate which may be followed by a reshuffle, or it may completely change  the government with a new prime minister appointed”.

Mamdouh Al-Abbadi, a former deputy prime minister, told Jordan News that “usually, the life span of most governments is two years, and this justifies the existence of these rumors.”

“It is unlikely that there will be a cabinet reshuffle,” he said.

Geopolitical expert Amer Al-Sabaileh, told Jordan News that he believed that the “defect is greater than officials, and lies in the mechanism of managing these officials. He did not elaborate.

Hassan Al-Momani, a professor of international relations and conflict resolution at the University of Jordan, said that talking about a ministerial reshuffle has become part of our “political culture, and has increased with the spread of technological development”.

Momani said that “the current government had some failures, such as the incident of the Salt Hospital, and the port of Aqaba.”

“Thus, the Jordanian streets are waiting for a change to occur, and on the other hand, the government has not accomplished what it was entrusted with”, he told Jordan News.

Member of Parliament Ahmad Al-Sarhaneh told Jordan News that what is being circulated in the Jordanian street about the possibility of a government reshuffle “is true, and this may take place within the next two weeks”.

He stressed the need for the government to find radical solutions to the most prominent challenges related to high prices and the unemployment crisis.

Senator and political analyst Jamil Al-Nimri told Jordan News it was “possible” that there will be a cabinet reshuffle, but “there are no political reasons for the change”.

Nimri stressed that the reshuffle is governed by internal matters in the ministerial team, and the extent of “harmony” among Cabinet ministers.

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