AMMONNEWS - Prime Minister Samir Rifai submitted his resignation along with his cabinet to King Abdullah on Tuesday.
King Abdullah II accepted the government's resignation on Tuesday afternoon, and appointed Maarouf Al Bakhit as Prime Minister and delegated him to form a new government.
The new government will have the task of " taking practical, swift, and tangible steps to launch a real political reform process, in line with the King's vision of comprehensive reform, modernization and development." In the letter of designation to Bakhit, the King said the new cabinet should proceed " with confidence to bolster democracy, and move ahead with nation building that opens the scopes for broad accomplishment to all dear sons of our country and secure them the safe and dignified life they deserve."
In the letter of desination to Bakhit, the King said the new government's major task should be "to take speedy practical and tangible steps to unleash a real political reform process that reflects our vision of comrehensive reform, modernisation and development." "Such a process should enable us to proceed with confidence along the path of bolstering democracy and building the nation that will open the door wide for achievement by all our dear people and secure them the safe and dignified life they are worthy of." Saying the current stage holds opportunity despite the challenges, His Majesty urged the incoming administration to build on and update national agenda programmes and proceed along the line set for the coming years in the letters of designation to the previous two governments.
He told Bakhit to take time and consult with all forces across the social and political spectra to put together his cabinet.
"We direct you to take the time to pick your ministerial team from the sons of Jordan who are capable, qualified and committed to the vision of comprehensive reform that upholds dialogue, openness, candor and transparency and reach out to our dear people," the King urged. Addressing the Prime Minister-Designate, the King hailed Bakhit as "a true and loyal soldier who could bear the responsibility with utmost fairness and dedication as you have always won my trust in all the posts you have held." The letter noted that since he came to power, the King had embraced comprehensive reform as the path to achievement while keeping abreast of the spirit of age which required launching the potentials of all Jordanians and empowering them through science, knowledge and training.
King Abdullah noted that he had made it clear that emphasis should be put on economic reform as a need to provide "best means of living to all people across the country", a goal that would not come about without political reform that brings citizens into the decision-making process.
He said political reform would build influential institutions encompassing effective and transparent programmes governed by up-to-date legislations befitting best democratic standards, but said the process was held back by imbalances and individuals who balked at change.
"The process has been marred by gaps and imbalances resulting from fear of change by some who resisted it to protect their own interests and the policies of appeasement which placed the private interest ahead of the public interest, hence costing the country dearly and denying it many opportunities for achievement," the letter went on.
King Abdullah asked Bakhit, a former Prime Minister, to conduct a comprehensive evaluation to come up with effective measures to address past mistakes and set a clear working strategy to press ahead with reform, through appraisal and updating of all laws governing political and civilian work and public freedoms.
The letter stressed that the elections law, "the pillar of real political development", is at the top of those legislations, which encompass laws related to political parties, assembly, municipalities, press and publication, access to information and others.
"Based on this, we look forward to your recommendations, in the earliest possible time, on a mechanism for a comprehensive, systematic national dialogue inclusive of all componensts and spectra of our society to reach consensus on a new elections law," read the letter.
It said the new law should emphasise an "inclusive national identy" and upgrade a collective partisan work where every one competes on serving the nation and citizens based on programmes and agree on all steps needed to accelerate democratisation "in a manner to guarantee maximum popular participation in decision-making.
"The government is duty-bound to take what is needed to promote civil society institutions, ensure free speech and create the atmosphere for a professional and independent media that take an unrestricted role, utilizing modern communications that should serve as a tool to disseminate and instill the culture of dialogue, not a means to spread misinformation and unjustly abuse individuals and institutions," the letter urged.
Another key focus of the letter is education and the youth, "the wealth of the nation and makers of its future." "It is incumbent to give maximum care to youths in terms of education, empowerment and promotion of national values, and here arises the need to emphasise the education process as a priority for which to provide all resources through updating curricula, improving the school environment and giving more care to teachers, the pivot of the education process," it added.
His Majesty also urged a comprehensive review of higher education so that "our universities will remain beacons of knowledge and hubs of intellectual creativity that build national identity and refine the youths' personality to embrace the values of openness, pularalism, critique and innovative thought." His Majesty stressed that in-campus violence, which has become rampant in recent months, should come to an end, adding that policies should focus on eliminating desperation among the young generation resulting from a sense of missed equal opportunity and pervasive wasta or nepotism.
Turning to the economy, the letter put the focus on creating better living conditions for citizens through increasing national productivity, raising growth and competitiveness while maximizing the potential to attract investment and create jobs. It also stressed an anti-corruption approach.
"You need to act within the parametres of the reformist economic approach through programmes and plans that guarantee best possible performance of the national economy, a real partnership between the public and private sectors, a fair distribution of development dividends, expansion of the middle class and protection of poor segments," it said.
"I should emphasise the need to build a strong institutional basis to combat all forms of corruption and take the utmost legal measures against anyone proven to have engaged in it," added the letter.
His Majesty also stressed national security and stability as indespensable for progress and achievement and a collective responsibility that sould be safeguarded through social justice, supremacy of the law, social cohesion and national unity.
He also stressed support of the judicial authority, armed forces and security apparatuses and said their personnel should have all the means for a decent life.
(Ammon News and Petra)