After several political parties announced plans to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections, some opinion writers in Sunday’s papers suggested that postponing the polls could be the best option to get the country out of the present political stalemate. Al Ghad Editor-in-Chief Jumana Ghneimat wrote that under the current circumstances, holding elections on time, no matter how fair and transparent, will not solve the country’s political dilemma, as ensuring maximum participation is the most important consideration. “Insisting on holding the elections under the current Elections Law will further complicate the political situation and will lead to more escalatory activities in the streets, regardless of the government’s ongoing pledges to conduct the elections with utmost integrity and neutrality,” Ghneimat said, adding that the country’s interests should take priority over any political calculations and agendas. “There is an urgent need now to find a way to reach a compromise on an elections law that convinces everyone to participate, weakens the case for abstention and makes everyone partners in change without political exclusion or attempts to monopolise power,” she added.
A refusal by His Majesty King Abdullah to endorse the law could be one option to end the current political deadlock, Ghneimat said, allowing further amendments to the law in order to meet the demands of political parties and the large proportion of society that has already rejected it. Agreeing with Ghneimat, Mohammad Abu Rumman, an Al Ghad columnist who specialises in Islamist politics, proposed three possible options in his Sunday article, titled “How do we save the elections?”
The first is to postpone the elections pending further dialogue, which “could put the state’s credibility at stake due to the fact that on several occasions the Monarch vowed to hold the elections before the end of the year”. The second option, he wrote, is to send legislation back to Parliament yet again for additional changes during an extraordinary session expected to be held after Ramadan. Although this move would irritate legislators and be seen as diminishing their independence, Abu Rumman said this option would be politically easier to implement and more constitutionally sound. Finally, the King could declare a state of emergency as allowed by Article 124 of the Constitution, dissolve Parliament, dismiss government and issue a new temporary law.