Jordan’s new Cabinet urged to focus on national priorities

Jordan's newly-appointed Prime Minister Bisher al Khasawneh takes oath during a swearing-in ceremony of the new government in Amman, Jordan October 12, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 13 October 2020

Jordan’s new Cabinet urged to focus on national priorities

  • New administration needs to make specific, time-sensitive commitments, says analyst

AMMAN: The finance, interior and international planning ministers were among those who left. Health Minister Saad Jaber and Minister of Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh also left, with many viewing their departure as an indication that their performance was no longer acceptable.

Amer Bani Amer is director of the NGO Rased-Hayyat Center, which monitors the government and parliament.
He said that the new administration needed to make specific, time-sensitive and measurable commitments and determine who would follow through on them.
“The new government needs to follow up what was not fulfilled by the previous government and build on it based on national priorities,” he told Arab News.
“It is necessary to build trust with people and not to widen its promises so as not to leave the public disappointed if these promises are not kept.”
Amro Nawisa, who is program director at the center, said that the average age of the ministers was 59.
He also said that the new government included eight ministers from the outgoing government of Prime Minister Omar Razzaz.
“Three women ministers represent 9 percent of the total Cabinet,” he told Arab News.
“Four ministers are current members of the Senate and 47 percent of the new ministers have a doctorate.”
Salma Nims, who is secretary-general of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, said that the new government fell short of expectations.
“It is not only that the number of women is less, but some of the ministers who were known to attack women are now being promoted to the Cabinet level,” she told Arab News.

It is necessary to build trust with people and not to widen its promises so as not to leave the public disappointed if these promises are not kept.

Amer Bani Amer, Director of NGO Rased-Hayyat Center

“We are not calling for the appointment of women and men who fight for the rights of women.”
Former MP Mohammed Kharabsheh is the newly appointed minister without portfolio. But he was not sworn in because he is under quarantine.
He told Radio Al-Balad that the government would do its best to represent the nation.
“I hope we will be in touch with all Jordanians in all governorates and to send them a message that the government represents all,” he said.
“We need to encourage investment to strengthen our currency and to provide new jobs.”
He expressed his confidence in the Jordanian people, calling them loyal, and said he was sure they would do whatever was needed if they were assured that the government was working on their behalf.
Hanna Sawalha, owner of Nebo Tours, said the new government must prioritize policies that could help with recovery efforts and kick-start the business sector once the impact of the pandemic had subsided.
“We need immediate help with hotels, agencies, and guides who have paid a high price,” he told Arab News.
“A stimulus package will help keep this industry, which has been a major supporter of the economy of Jordan, from collapsing completely.”
Sawalha praised the new minister of tourism.
“In his previous position as minister of tourism, he made sure that the Jordan pass was approved by the government. We hope that he gives the industry the attention it needs at this difficult time.”


Virus sets Iran record again - this time infections

Updated 34 min 56 sec ago

Virus sets Iran record again - this time infections

  • The latest figure of 8,293 cases of infection in a 24-hour period far exceeds the previous highest number registered

Tehran: Coronavirus infections in Iran have set a daily record of more than 8,000 new cases, official figures showed Thursday, after two straight days of record deaths from the pandemic.
The latest figure of 8,293 cases of infection in a 24-hour period far exceeds the previous highest number registered only two days earlier of 6,968 people who tested positive.
The virus has also claimed another 399 lives in the Middle East's worst-hit country, the health ministry announced, raising the total number of victims to 34,113.
On Wednesday, Iran reported a record death toll of 415 over a 24-hour period, 69 more than Tuesday's toll which was also a daily record.
President Hassan Rouhani warned last week that his country faces "a larger wave of this virus and we have to fight it".
Figures have kept rising since September.
In the eight months since the first cases surfaced in Iran, a total of 596,941 infections from Covid-19 have been confirmed.