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The Cabinet reshuffle

May 13,2019 - Last updated at May 13,2019

The most recent Cabinet reshuffle in Jordan took place last Thursday, and it was exposed over the following weekend with a barrage of comments and media articles. They were predominantly negative. This is how I see the reasons or the motives.

Some criticised the renaming of some ministries. The Ministry of ICT was changed to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs was changed to the Ministry of Local Administration, while the Ministry of Prime Ministry Affairs and the Ministry of Institutional Performance Development, which had been dropped by Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, were reinstated in the recent reshuffle.

Some legal experts raised the question whether the changes in the names of ministries would be in violation of the existing laws, or even in contradiction with the Constitution. I guess not. These are functional ministries, and what is needed is amendments to their by-laws to reflect the content of the new titles.

Historically, this has been done many times. The Ministry of Supply was taken away from the Ministry of National Economy by a Royal Decree. The Ministry of Industry and Trade was created the same way. Similar things happened to the ministries of information, telecommunications, tourism and antiquities, youth and water and agriculture. So, what is the big deal?

Some are distressed by the return of Salameh Hammad for the fourth or fifth time as minister of interior, however, conservatives find him needed in these hard times, when security is considered of paramount importance.

There are other reasons that have to do with every minister who left and with the newcomers to this Cabinet. Overall, it seems that the reshuffle has been met with public suppressed stupefaction and loud expressions of dismay. Yet, the raison d'être for this uproar is not convincing. It seems more concocted than authentic.

Yet, Razzaz is fighting an uphill battle, if the early good omens of a better economic performance continue, and a wider base of the populace feel it, he will have a better chance of survival.

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