His Majesty King Abdullah II said in an interview published today that there is no back-pedaling on reforms, unveiling that preparations are underway to hold municipal and parliamentary elections soon.
In an interview with the Kuwaiti Al Rai newspaper’s Khairallah Khairallah during the just-concluded World Economic Forum on Dead Sea shores, the King said “the next phase in Jordan’s march is one of issuing legislation and laws to go ahead with the process of political and socio-economic reforms.” The Kingdom, he said, had taken major milestones along the path of reform, mainly completion of constitutional amendments that required a drastic review and passage of legislation with a vision of comprehensive reform.
He said the new government’s priority is pursuit of the reform and modernization drive and “fulfillment of the requirements of this stage,” adding that the choice of Awn Khasawneh to form the government was due to his credentials as a reputable international jurist and for his acceptance at the domestic scene. He said the new administration will seek to put in place new legislation governing political life, first and foremost of which are the electoral and political parties laws, which should be ratified through consensus, in addition to an independent commission overseeing elections and the constitutional court.
Asked about the reasons that enabled Jordan to evade exacerbated unrest, he said: “It was vital to work to shun any form of violence by protesters taking part in rallies and demonstrations even if there were those who seek to foment riot and to see victims fall.” He said security forces had sought to counter the unrest by containing the protests without resorting to violence, noting that only one person was killed in Jordan over the period of the troubles, who died of “a heart attack not related to any form of repression or violence.” He condemned all forms of the crackdown by Arab regimes against protesters, saying that Jordan’s reforms even involve security bodies and adding: “Even if you triumph over your own people, you are defeated.”