Here’s an interesting story: a national policy paper emerged recently, entitled “Rights to Assembly in the Jordanian Legislations”. Produced by Fayez Shakhatreh, a contracted legal expert to the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), the 74-page report has supposedly caused some debate, bringing together representatives from the government and civil society organizations to discuss it yesterday. Among other things, the report cites that amendments to political parties, societies and associations laws are an obstacle to the emergence of real political life. The report also went on to discuss hostility towards freedoms and political parties, describing November’s elections as “empty of any kind of intellectual or political rhetoric that would provide solutions to social, economic and security challenges faced”. Moreover, it attacked the one-man one-vote system as well as the new draft law that seeks to reform the way political parties function in the country and will see a dissolve of most of the 37 parties still around.
Now here’s what I found interesting about this piece of news:
Of the 16 Parliamentarians who were invited to the discussion, not one of them showed up. No one elected by the people, to represent the people, showed up to do just that.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Political Development and Minister of State for Legal Affairs, Kamal Nasser, representing the government, assured everyone (as usual) that “the government will study and take seriously the recommendations of this conference”.
President of the Arab Organisation for Human Rights, Hani Dahleh, said: “The recommendations of this conference will be put in a drawer to collect dust at the ministry and will not be taken seriously.”
What do you think?