AMMAN (JT) — Prime Minister-designate Omar Razzaz said on Monday that the King’s directive in the Letter of Designation to forge a new social contract could be the most important item on the political agenda that his in-the-making government is entrusted to implement.
Razzaz made his remarks during a meeting at Al Hussein Youth City with the secretaries general of political parties, as part of a series of meetings and consultations he is holding to form a government and its action plan for the next stage, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Meanwhile, Razzaz told reporters after a meeting with House leaders that he was seeking a “charter” that puts the country on the path towards parliamentary governments.
The premier-designate added that producing a new social contract requires a clear definition of rights and obligations, a transition to an institutional system governed by laws and regulations, ensuring that the government has uncontested jurisdiction over all public affairs, a shift to economic productivity and a system where the individual is the centre of development plans, one that guarantees people their rights to “bread and freedom”.
The transition to a new social contract also requires concord over an economic vision tied to production, creativity and innovation, he stressed.
Commenting on the ministerial team he was still gathering, the prime minister-designate said: “It is not enough to be a technocrat government at this stage. Even if it was fully aware of the technical aspect of its work, it is important for the Cabinet to understand the political and security implications of its decisions”.
“The person we are looking for to join the Cabinet is a person who deeply understands his field and has the expertise and ability to see the implications of any decision within his ministerial portfolio on social security and the economic situation”, he pointed out.
“We do not need a narrow mentality in dealing with matters,” he said, explaining that the ministerial team member must have genuine political awareness and understanding of the opportunities and technical challenges in there field of work”.
“We recognise that the time factor is critical, but we have to ensure that the ministerial team is integrated,” Razzaz said, adding that when His Majesty the King designated him to form a government, he advised him not to rush things and to take his time to make certain he was making the right choices.
Razzaz also stressed that the main objective of the income tax draft law is to effectively deal with tax evasion, but not at the expense of citizens, stressing the need for clear legal provisions that penalise evaders and protect the public.
A conversation started after Razzaz finished his remarks, during which party leaders presented their views on the challenges currently facing Jordan and the political and economic reform files, stressing the parties’ desire to strengthen partnerships with the government to promote political and partisan action.
They called on the government to initiate a national dialogue on a new draft of electoral and party laws, in order to help restore confidence in partisan action.
They also stressed the importance of combating corruption and the corrupt, promoting the attractiveness of foreign investment and encouraging migrant investors to come back home.
Charter for parliamentary governments
Razzaz told House leaders at a meeting held at the Parliament that his government would work with the Lower House to launch a national dialogue to reach consensus over a “charter” that leads to parliamentary governments, Petra reported.
Razzaz said during the meeting, attended by the Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh, members of the House’s permanent office, heads of parliamentary blocs and key MPs, that the parliamentary governments which King Abdullah spoke about in the seven discussion papers, which His Majesty wrote and released between 2012-2017 should not remain a mere slogan, pointing out in this context that achieving this goal requires awareness, knowledge and well-established institutions.
Also touching on the social contract issue, Razzaz said young people are “waiting for us to work together” and to feel that they are a “participating rather than an on-hold generation”.
The prime minister-designate announced the criteria of selecting his Cabinet: Integrity, a “graft-free record”, and the ability to communicate and work with a teamwork mentality.