Tagged: Politics

King Abdullah Of Jordan: Monarch In The Middle Of Controversy

King Abdullah IIA feature on The Atlantic about King Abdullah II of Jordan, “The Modern King in the Arab Spring”, was all the fuss on Tuesday all over Jordan’s news sites and on social media.

As someone who lived, studied, worked and got married in Jordan; there’s always a little place in my heart for the country, and I tend to try and catch up on what’s going on there every now and then.

I only got to read the full feature, which is pretty long, yesterday; and whoa, was that something!
The full feature can be found here “The Modern King in the Arab Spring”, and for some quick highlights, you can check out the New York Times’ article.

The article basically lays out what the king thinks of the internal players in Jordanian politics, the tribal leaders (whom he calls Dinosaurs), the General Intelligence Department (GID), the royal family, regional leaders, the Muslim brotherhood and more, painting them all mostly in a negative light.
Now all of these things aren’t that shocking in the sense that the king or anyone else thinks that way, heck I agree with most of the opinions in the article; what’s more shocking is that they’re released and made public this way, bypassing any of the usual PR or diplomacy filters we’ve gotten so used to from political leaders and their offices.

After the article was published, the Royal Hashemite Court responded saying that the article included “many fallacies and took matters out of their correct context.” Jeffrey Goldberg, who wrote the piece, confirmed on Twitter that both he and the royal court have recordings of the interviews, and that they’re well in context.

All that in mind, I’m going to lean more towards thinking that the Royal Hashemite Court is just scrambling to contain and get rid of this internal nightmare situation, while the article remains mostly accurate.

Many people think that maybe the king’s comments were made off the record, and they do really seem like things that would be said off the record, rather than on the record; but I don’t think that’s the case, I actually think the king intended these comments to come out exactly the way they did.
Why he’d do that? What exactly the reasoning and objective behind it is, isn’t that clear; but what’s for sure is it’s quite a gamble.

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Tunisia’s Political Confidence Crisis

Tunisian FlagIt’s been just over two years since the Tunisian revolution that overthrew Ben Ali took place, almost a year and a half since the election of the constituent assembly, and the country just got its fourth temporary government.

The economy, security, and the whole country in general aren’t in good shape at all, to say the least. And there’s nothing so far that suggests things are going to get any better anytime soon. To be fair, this can’t all be blamed solely on the governments the country has had over the past period, but on the other hand, those governments only seem to make things worse somehow.

The constituent assembly is behind schedule in getting the new constitution ready, and the elections have been pushed back too. The latest announcements mention the end of April as the target date to get the draft of the new constitution ready, and the end of June or early July as the date it could get adopted on the first reading; If that happens, legislative and presidential elections could maybe happen end of October.
However if the constitution only gets adopted through a second reading or a referendum, that would push back the date for the elections even further.

From all the bickering that’s been going on within the constituent assembly, I think it might be safe to assume that it’s pretty improbable the constitution will sail through easily and get adopted on the first reading. If we’re optimistic, it might go through on the second reading, assuming the constituent assembly want to save face and not further demonstrate how utterly useless they’ve been, and if not then referendum it is.
I won’t go into the possible scenario where the constitution gets shot down by the people through the referendum, so I don’t sound too pessimistic.

Anyway, election-wise, we could be looking at December or January of next year for the elections to happen; People will be asked to go out and vote for who they want to run the country, who they want to see in parliament and who they’d like as president.
And that’s where a big problem arises, do the Tunisian people really trust anyone for those responsibilities at this point?

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