Jordan: A Flowerless Spring

In light of the many recent changes in the regional and international landscape, it is a mistake to believe that the status quo is sustainable in Jordan. Yet it seems that neither the ruling powers, nor the people, nor the political forces in general realize this.

To this day, the reform movement in Jordan has yet to embrace the slogan, “down with the regime”.  The Jordanian political system has become submissive and the King remains, even if only in public, cordoned off by a red line exempting him from accountability. Criticizing him is punishable by law according to the Constitution. There are also highly influential cultural factors reinforced by the deeply-rooted opinion held by many Jordanians that royalty is fully above rebuke. However the issue is naturally not this simple. According to the Constitution, the King claims a monopoly over power in Jordan. The Constitution stipulates that the ruling system is a parliamentary monarchy which is vested with political and legal authority on behalf of the King.  When the country is subjected to a crisis, the majority feel that the King should be in charge of running state affairs. What makes the crisis worse is that, because of the Constitution, the King is fully unaccountable.

The views represented in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff, or its board.