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To trust or distrust the government

Dec 06,2018 - Last updated at Dec 06,2018

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz opened up to representatives of civil society organisations on Tuesday about his frustration with the widespread pessimism and distrust that permeate among many people, which he described as real impediments to progress and to sincere efforts to deal with the very issues that are behind the people's complaints and anxieties.

The prime minister reiterated that he is well aware of the frustration and the distrust of citizens and the reasons behind them, but added that his government's plan of action for 2019-2020 is abreast of the public’s woes and difficulties and aims to address them fully, all in due time.

All that the prime minister is asking for is to give him and his team at least the benefit of the doubt, and a grace period in anticipation of real progress on the issues of unemployment, inflation and corruption. This is fair enough. Prime Minister Razzaz must, however, also know that the public has heard such assurances before, only to find out at the end of the day that they could not come to fruition for one reason or another.

The public has become sceptical about successive governments' plans of action after finding out that the issues that disturb them most have become even more difficult to overcome. In other words, the distrust between the government and the people is a two-way street, with reasons on both sides of the equation about each other's promises and responsibilities. This long-standing conflict or stand-off between the governor and the governed stand to be resolved once there are visible signs of progress on the ground about the government's plan of action that Razzaz mentioned. Until then, the people cannot be blamed for their sense of scepticism.

The government of Prime Minister Razzaz has been in office for a number of months already, but has yet to show that its future plans for dealing with the main concerns and challenges facing the country are about to see the light of day. True, a few months in office is not enough time to pass definitive judgements about the corrective measures that the government has in store for the people of the country to end their woes, even in part, yet a beginning must be made in the corrective process and that is what the people want to see.

The approval rate of the prime minister remains high and that is why citizens expect more from him, and soon.

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