Limited progress for our political parties | Jordan Press | Ammon News

Limited progress for our political parties

[1/28/2013 12:00:00 AM]

by Nasouh Majali/ The Jordan Times

Very limited progress has been achieved by our new political parties and blocs — national, leftist or Islamist — that participated in the January 23 parliamentary polls on national tickets.

Some of these parties achieved better in the local districts on the basis of the one-person, one-vote formula, an indication that the Elections Law and the national list were not a great help to partisan life, especially since individual open lists were given the opportunity to compete with political parties.

Yet parliamentary blocs can be formed and still have the chance to become the centre of political life in Parliament and the government, but no single party should assume that it can apply its programme or political vision alone. Political work, in parliament or the future parliamentary government, will depend on alliances between different groups that might form the government.

As in each election, there are winners and there are losers.

Women achieved slight progress in the elections beyond the quota, which is a good indication.

Meanwhile, the Islamist Centrist Party unexpectedly achieved good results in the national list and district vote benefiting from the absence of the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Islamic Action Front. The latter chose the most extreme measure by opting to boycott the polls, thus giving way to the more moderate Islamist Centrist Party.

Moderate, centrist Islamist movements are tolerated by the state as well as the Jordanian society, and other moderate Islamist parties are thus expected to emerge in the near future.

I do not think that the elections and the new Parliament will immediately make a significant difference in developing political life or the concept of parliamentary governments. Most of the new members represent tribes and at least one-third of the new Lower House members has no previous experience in political life. Thus the Parliament is expected to be led by the old guard, who were blamed for a lot of the shortcomings and mistakes of previous parliaments.

Reform, be it political or social, will be a central issue in the coming stage.

In his discussion papers, His Majesty King Abdullah gave us a platform of ideas, values, democratic behaviour and demands that might lead the way to a new concept of democratic governance.

It is not enough for any political group or party to be elected by democratic means; it is more important to behave in a democratic manner after elections, especially when it participates in the government, by respecting the values and meaning of democracy, in addition to respecting other parties. This is what makes democracy successful.

Economic and social challenges as well as the rising dangers in the region and their effects on our country in many ways will be the state’s top priority in the next stage. The solidarity of our people and the security of our country must be the solid base for our national policy, as they are the best guarantee to face challenges, be they domestic or not.

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