Ammon is reporting that several members of parliament and the city council are looking to question the mayor, Omar Maani, on alleged corruption deals. One member claims to even have documents pertaining to the mayor’s alleged abuse of power, revolving around favored contract-granting.
At this point, I’d like to emphasize the word “alleged”.
Next to Bassem Awadallah, Maani is probably the most targeted personality in Jordan’s political arena these days. Half the country lives in Amman. The gap between rich and poor is more evident here than anywhere else in the Kingdom. Not everyone is happy about the rapid changes happening in the Capital. Companies no one has ever heard of are suddenly striking big contracting deals seemingly out of the blue. Other problems go unaddressed. There is, as usual, public confusion, and no one on the other end of the line is offering solace. The public is ripe for hearing and believing anything at this point. This, for the most part, seems to be the perception on-the-ground. How true or factual it is, is pretty much irrelevant – again, politics is all about perception.
If you keep your ear close to the ground in Amman’s political discussions, or, are alive in any way, Maani’s name is a frequent centerpiece. Rarely is it ever mentioned in a good light but then again, what politician is? Nevertheless, accusations, rumors and suspicions of corruption are as synonymous with Maani’s name these days as they were with Awadallah. How true such allegations are, are again, pretty much irrelevant in the grand scheme of Jordanian politics.
And this begs the question of whether the critics will now turn their heads to Maani. And if such a turn yields a resignation, it also begs the question of whether this is the start of accountability taking place in some unofficial capacity, or, the beginning of something else: the reining in of the so-labeled reformists.
The problem with such central figures of power is that when the gang is being rounded up, different people with their different motives jump on the bandwagon and you end up with a group of muddled people, some demanding accountability, some demanding justice, some demanding a piece of the pie, and some, are just well-trained snipers when it comes to character assassinations.
Their motives are different but their goal is the same.
In a way, public officials really have no one to blame but themselves. Not having a system of accountability means not having the protection of one either. Something along the lines of what Capote said with regards to law.
As for me, when it comes to corruption I always reserve my judgment until evidence is actually brought forth. In a city like Amman, located in a country like Jordan, it’s literally the easiest thing in the world to believe a rumor based merely on its intensity, rather than its credibility.