Improving Jordan’s political reform process is the duty of Jordanians, at all levels and from all walks of life. It is the responsibility of individuals, political parties, officials and parliamentarians, but most importantly, of ordinary citizens.
All have important roles to play in the ongoing reform process that will continue to evolve in accordance with the will of the people.
That was the central message of the third discussion paper by King Abdullah, which outlines his vision for Jordan’s political evolution.
The paper comes just after another milestone in Jordan’s democratisation process, legislative polls, and as the Parliament continues consultations on the formation of a parliamentary government that will herald a new era in the country’s history.
“The transition to parliamentary government, like democracy itself, is always work in progress. Stakeholders at every level must constantly be aware of their role in shaping the future,” the King said in the opening lines of the paper.
Participating in this work in progress is the duty of all stakeholders, including those who opt to alienate themselves, because of ideology, apathy, opportunism or political pressure. No reason they come up with is acceptable at this important juncture, however, particularly if they wish to see change and the country progress.
The country’s interests take precedence over any personal gain. Citizens should realise that they can make a difference, as the King said, through polls, Parliament, the media, civil societies, and any other type of organised activism. They need to make their voices heard and be part of the political process, which is supposed to empower them and meet their hopes and aspirations for a better future.
They also have to understand that bringing about change is not a short-term process but, as outlined in the King’s paper, one that undergoes continuous progress and evaluation, that entails enhancing the culture of democracy to fit the Jordanian model.
Jordanians need to realise that their experience will take some cycles to mature. Most importantly, they have to know that their input will be the catalyst for moving forward.
The guidance and leadership of the King, who is the unifying force and guarantor of the country’s security and stability, will continue to be highly needed. His Majesty said that the role of the Monarchy will continue to evolve with the maturity of the country’s political system.
Knowing this, people should have their say on what future they want in a proactive manner.
The King is confident about the future that will have people embrace the culture of democracy and be an active part of it.
“It is a future I embrace; one in which all our people will have a voice; one in which no one is excluded from prosperity, security and success.”
The way to this future is through citizens’ full engagement and the collective efforts of all stakeholders.