Jordanian reform advances too slowly

Story Summary

If, as I noted in my column Thursday, Jordan is the one country that best captures the many contradictory political, social, religious and cultural sentiments swirling across the Arab world, now is the best time to visit the country as these sentiments are being expressed in public during the monthlong run-up to parliamentary elections at the end of January.

These include affirmations of the right to speak out and shape national policies; a massive demand for (unspecified) “reform” and “change”; a desire for Jordanian national unity and cohesion; greater freedom, democracy and dignity; broader citizen rights; social justice; women’s rights; free media; hostility to corruption; support for the Palestine issue; and a prevalent call for citizens to participate in elections and public life if they want to bring about real change.

So why has no Arab country been able to implement serious and credible political reforms that respond to these obvious demands?

This election will probably not tell us anything new about Jordan’s capacity to change in response to citizen demands.

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(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

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