September 29 2022 8:40 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Benefits of the Cabinet reshuffle

Jawad Anani
(Photo: Jordan News)
I am sure that His Majesty King Abdullah gave the choice of a new Cabinet or a reshuffle of Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh’s government lots of thought and in-depth analysis.   اضافة اعلان

Assuming that he had opted for a change, then there would be a new prime minister, a new cabinet which would have to get the approval of the House of Representatives in the first month after the Parliament meets in mid-November, and His Majesty delivers his regal address enunciating the basic policies.

Then once this is done, the government would have to endure another sobering test of confidence when it asks for the Jordanian bicameral approval of its draft budget law. The finance committees of both houses would have to debate it first and offer their proposals. 

Nonetheless, the government would have to sit mesmerized in their seats for at least one whole week of new demands by the parliamentarians who know in advance that the budget expenditures can neither be increased nor be transferred from one account to another.

Yet, elected MPs insist on making such speeches and making them public in order for their respective constituency to know that the MPs are responsive to their needs.

Once the budget is approved and almost two months have elapsed before the new draft election law and parties law are taken to task. The draft laws were the result of 100 arduous days of debates, protests, resignations, reconciliations, and compromises. Should any basic articles in these two laws be amended or redrafted, then some people would begin to question the validity of the guarantees extended to Royal Committee to Modernize the Political System to have their recommendations endorsed in their entirety. 
 
Should, on the other hand, the laws be kept as is, then parliamentarians might protest if they see their proposals to amend the laws go unheeded. They might and could raise the question of whether they, as representatives of the people, should be subject to the will of the appointed committee members. It is a thorny situation. 

If such a debate takes place in the legislative bodies, then it might go on for a long time. In addition, the legitimacy of these laws might be subject to unscrupulous suspicions.

Therefore, His Majesty chose to allow the government to make two important changes to its structure. The first was to bring in some of the committee members to join the government: they chose three of these in addition to the cabinet member who attended the committee’s meetings ex-officio.

Thus, the government now has members who can defend the proposed two laws, besides any constitutional amendments which may be considered mandatory. 

The second part of the reshuffle witnessed the replacement of the minister of industry, trade, and supply, Maha Ali by her ex-undersecretary who also served as a minister of labor, and the appointment of two new ministers of labor and investment, signaling the governments’ focus on the core work of linking investment to the creation of job opportunities.
 
We can also attach to these new reappointments, that of veteran education expert, Wajih Owais, to assume his past role once again.

Many commentators wanted a different cabinet. However, I think that this new government is potentially capable of creating more hope among a dismally disenchanted private sector.

The two tests of improving the economy and making good on political reforms could make the government, or break it by the end of next May. Let us be positive and hope for the best.


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