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His Majesty King Abdullah II’s interview with the Jordan News Agency (Petra)
 
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Amman, Sept. 13 (Petra) -- His Majesty King Abdullah II on Wednesday said the government must ensure that implementation of financial reforms would not affect middle- and low-income families, stressing that the protection and expansion of the middle class has to be the strategic goal for government policies.

In an interview with the Jordan News Agency's (Petra) Director-General Faisal al-Shboul, His Majesty the King said that improving citizens’ standard of living is the basis of all his directives, adding that the government must set timelines and indicators for the implementation of the Jordan Economic Growth Plan.

Next are top highlights of the interview followed by the full text:


King: No one will help us if we do not help ourselves

King: We must depend on ourselves, first and foremost

King: Improving citizens’ standard of living is the basis of all my directives

King: Protection and expansion of the middle class has to be the strategic goal for government policies

King: Government must ensure that implementation of financial reforms would not affect middle- and low-income families

King: Government must set timelines and indicators for the implementation of the Jordan Economic Growth Plan

King: Reopening Turaibil is an opportunity to bolster industry, trade, and finance sectors and increase exports

King: Success in conducting fair and transparent local and parliamentary polls within a year has resulted in the largest elected popular representation in Jordan’s history

King: No one is above the law

King: No outlaw and no place is off-limits to our security agencies

King: Southwest Syria ceasefire is conducive to reaching a political solution

King: Developments in the Middle East must not overshadow other atrocities perpetrated against Muslims, such as what is taking place in Myanmar

King: Failure to make progress in the peace process will fuel the sense of frustration and anger among the region’s peoples and serve the agenda of extremists

Jordan News Agency: Your Majesty, we have seen various rapid developments locally, the latest of which have been the municipal and governorate council (decentralisation) elections. What is your assessment of the electoral process and its outcomes?

King Abdullah: Jordan has effectively embarked on its first steps towards implementing decentralisation, with the goal of giving local administrations greater power, and adopting a democratic approach based on bolstering citizens’ engagement in setting development, service, and investment priorities and needs in their areas. This will contribute to a fairer distribution of resources among the governorates and will help shape local priorities to reflect positively on socioeconomic development.

The members of governorate councils elected by citizens are better aware of the needs of their areas, and are required to maintain direct and ongoing engagement with their communities to realise the desired development. This way, members of the House of Representatives will be able to dedicate themselves to their legislative and oversight duties without being consumed with following up on service-related demands for their areas.

What was most notable was the large number of candidates who ran for municipal and governorate council elections, as well as their young age, which reflects the enthusiasm of Jordanians and their readiness to take the initiative and engage in public service at the local level.

No doubt, state agencies’ success in conducting fair and transparent local and parliamentary polls in less than a year has resulted in the largest elected popular representation in Jordan’s history. This also asserts that Jordan is moving confidently ahead in its comprehensive reform process and in bolstering its democracy, despite the crises and instability plaguing the region.

Jordan News Agency: Indeed, Jordan seems to be engaged in an ongoing reform workshop. Was the legislative package to reform the judiciary and enhance the rule of law within that context, and are you satisfied with the outcomes?

King Abdullah: As you know, Faisal, satisfaction with reform achievements is an incentive to achieve more, not to settle for what has been already done.

Out of our belief in the importance of comprehensive reform, the Royal Committee for Developing the Judiciary and Enhancing the Rule of Law was formed as a result of the Sixth Discussion Paper. The committee submitted recommendations on developing and enhancing the efficiency of the judiciary, as well as expediting litigation procedures to ensure justice and guarantee citizens’ rights in a timely manner.

Everyone knows that the committee’s recommendations have been translated into a legislative package to enhance the judiciary that was endorsed recently by Parliament. This reflects a positive partnership between the legislative and executive authorities, and we have always stressed the importance of this relationship. These laws will have a positive effect on the work of the judiciary and public trust in justice and the rule of law, as well as investors’ confidence in Jordan.

The recommendations also called for utilising modern technology in all judicial procedures and establishing a special courtroom to look into commercial cases of economic significance, which would create an investment-friendly climate.

There have also been other measures to enhance integrity in public service and administration, complementing these laws, as part of an ongoing process to build on what has been achieved.

The government has endorsed the National Strategy for Integrity and Anti-Corruption 2017-2025, aimed at creating an anti-graft environment and criminalising wasta and favouritism, whereby no one is above the law. I would like to stress that combating corruption requires the cooperation of all state institutions and components, and most importantly citizens themselves. Wasta, in particular, cannot be rooted out without first being categorically rejected and spurned by citizens.

At the Royal Hashemite Court, we have taken the initiative by adopting a Professional Code of Conduct for senior employees, with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army and the General Intelligence Department following suit. The goal is to cement a legal, ethical environment that governs professional performance, bolsters transparency and accountability in public service, and protects institutions and officials.

The fact remains that reform in Jordan is an ongoing, gradual process with Jordanians’ best interests at its heart, in order to empower citizens to actively engage in advancing the country. But our journey does not end here. We aspire to present an inspiring regional model for ongoing reform, despite economic challenges and turmoil in neighbouring countries.

//Petra// AA

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13/9/2017 - 08:08:43 PM
 
 
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جميع الحقوق محفوظة. وكالة الأنباء الأردنية (بترا) 2017
تم تطوير وتصميم الموقع من قبل برايموس