Jordan is facing a stifling economic crisis that has started gradually about 20 years ago, since the coronation of Abdullah II as king of Jordan while the most important reasons that led to this crisis are mismanagement and rampant corruption in Jordan and the absence of oversight and accountability, as well as the Arab Spring, where it had many effects On the economic situation, as a result of all of this, Jordan’s debt is currently close to 50 billion dollars, which is a record, and the unemployment rate has exceeded 20 percent, which is also a record in a country like Jordan.
Where the Arab Spring affected the Jordanian economy as a result of bearing the burden of refugees and stopping trade with neighboring countries as a result of the Arab spring, the Arab Spring affected the Jordanian economy because the countries that hit by Arab spring were Jordan’s natural markets and became suffering from internal security events, which led to a decline in trade, whether It was with Iraq also Syria that was a transit point for trade to Turkey then to Europe, as well as a passage for transit trade from Syria to the Gulf countries through, in addition to that the revenues of the tourism sector have been affected greatly by the Arab Spring.
Which led to an increase in foreign aid from donor countries, led by the United States of America and the European Union, as the western allies of Jordan announce each time that the purpose of this aid is to support the economy and reforms in Jordan and maintain its stability on the one hand and on the other hand because of the importance Jordan to the State of Israel through Jordan’s relatively good relationship with it.
And it came in the report of Transparency International, in its annual report on the corruption perception index for the year 2018, which covered 180 countries. In which Jordan ranked 58 globally, and it is a good ranking for a country like Jordan, with 49 points out of 100, recording positive progress, with one rank for 2017, yet Jordan suffers from corruption and mismanagement, where debt and unemployment numbers are the best evidence for both Corruption and mismanagement Especially if we want Jordan to become a better country, here I will write about the issue of corruption on the one hand and on the other hand solve the debt problem that may solve a regional problem at the same time and that may crown the King of Jordan with the Nobel Peace Prize.
First, where does the problem lie in fighting corruption in Jordan?
Some provisions of the Jordanian constitution constitute an obstacle to eradicating corruption, as the Jordanian constitution stipulates that no minister or prime minister may be brought before the courts for the crimes and violations committed by the minister while he was in office except with the approval of two-thirds of the members of Parliament who are only entitled to take a decision to accuse the minister If it is found that in his actions there is a violation of the law.
In the event that the Council decides to accuse the Minister, the Minister will be tried before the High Council, which is formed in a mixed manner by members of the Senate and regular judges. This text is constitutional and constitutes a barrier and suffices the hand of the judiciary and justice
On the pursuit of corruption of the class that governs both during its work and after leaving office.
The Jordanian constitution also stipulates that a deputy may be a partner in companies in which the number of shareholders or owners of shares exceeds ten people. This exception allowed the legislative authority to practice trade on terms that are easy to achieve, and this text resulted in a door for real marriage between the corruption of the legislature and corruption of the executive.
The Anti-Corruption Commission Law, made in 2005 and thereafter the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Law formed in 2015, is the authority responsible for investigating anti-corruption cases before they are transferred to the judiciary, as these bodies are headed by military generals who have no previous judicial or legal experience in a military court called It has the security of the state, which is a matter originally intended to be within the jurisdiction of a specialized court to “combat corruption crimes” that is affiliated with the civil judiciary and that has a public prosecutor and a judicial officer whose mission is to track, investigate and prosecute corruption crimes.
In Jordan there is a functional and social environment that incubates corruption, because despite the great harm that threatens the state and destroys its economic security and the consequent imbalances in security at all levels, the inspector of corruption finds that he has a network of social relations incubating him, as many Jordanian officials are linked to relations Kinship and intermarriage with each other, which makes a seat belt protect corruption practitioners from prosecution or reach the hands of the judiciary.
Second, what should Jordan do to get rid of corruption?
Jordan needs to follow the example of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who arrested all the corrupt people in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, with a fundamental difference, by conducting fair trials in compliance with international standards and democratic methods, and in any case this will only be done in coordination with a department Jordanian General Intelligence.
Appointing the right person with the appropriate qualifications in the position of prime minister in the government of technocrats and not to rotate the prime ministers and the names themselves, ending with Jordan achieving the constitutional monarchy, which is the summit of democracy where the Jordanian citizen will elect the prime minister, and this will not take place until after the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan is scaled from By dividing them by the theory of divide and conquer ,because of their danger for Jordan’s national security, or be banned outright.
Restructuring of the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, because a large part of Jordan’s economic crisis came due to poor planning in this country, as well as following the method of placing the right person in the right place in this important ministry.
Create a text in the constitution that provides for the formation of a special court to combat corruption crimes, formed by a special law that belongs to the Civil Judicial Council and has a public prosecution department and is followed by a competent judicial officer whose task is to receive complaints, track corruption, gather evidence to investigate and prosecute, and revoke the jurisdiction of the military judiciary – the State Security Court – in consideration In economic crimes and the transformation of the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission into a judicial police department whose mission in the fight against corruption is limited to receiving complaints, tracking corruption and collecting evidence without having the authority to investigate and that is affiliated with the Anti-Corruption Court and its authority.
Repeal the constitutional text that requires the approval of two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives until the minister is referred to trial, and cancel that immunity, which has become a shield used by those who practice corruption.
Eliminate the exception in the constitutional text that permits members of the legislature to practice trade in order to prevent members of the legislature from practicing any commercial business or establishing institutions or companies or contribute to them of all kinds and purposes while they are leaving office for at least five years.
Work media and religious work on the manufacture of conscience and societal awareness of the seriousness of corruption on the continuity of the state and the future of its generations, and besiege and reject this behavior.
Launching a mature consensual political life thereafter, in accordance with the international standards for mature political life in which the separation of powers and the rule of law take place. Political reform is the first step on the path to achieving reform in all other areas of reform
Before the conclusion, the restructuring of the Jordanian economy
Jordan should provide incentives to encourage Arab investors to enter the Jordanian market, by exempting production inputs and basic foodstuffs from sales tax, directing government capital expenditures for income-generating development projects, and investing the country’s rich resources “potash, phosphate, oil shale, copper, and others as inputs to production.”
Where the Jordanian economy must be transformed from a rentier economy to a productive economy, providing job opportunities, especially in the fields of industry, agriculture, information technology and tourism, regulating the labor market, and adopting progressive tax policies that contribute to the redistribution of income.
Also, foreign aid should be directed towards investments and development projects, the development of health services, education and public transport.
Finally, a solution to the problem of large external debt in Jordan and Jordan’s role in the peace process
When Jordan signed the peace treaty with Israel in 1994, US President Bill Clinton eliminated part of Jordan’s external debt to the United States, and the United States even increased foreign aid to Jordan as a result of the peace process. What Jordan needs now is to intervene to solve the main Middle East issue, i.e. (the Palestinian-Israeli conflict) in coordination with the Palestinian Authority and the parties concerned, and as a result, in this case there is an American and Israeli mediation and guarantee at the same time that results in the deletion of Jordan’s foreign debt, as this will be a large part of the price that Jordan will take from the cost of its intervention to bring peace to an issue that is more than 70 years old and one of the oldest conflicts in the modern world, provided that Jordan is a homeland for all Arabs, meaning Jordanian and Palestinian alike and abandonment On the right of return by the Palestinians, this is what the late King Hussein Bin Talal and the founding king Abdullah I said Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is palestine with international acceptance and international supervision. And also the international and Arab Gulf states support for Jordan will be increased economically and militarily, and it is necessary to ensure that Jordan does not collapse in the future and ensure that Jordan does not enter into internal conflicts and all of this to ensure the stability of the Middle East as a whole through coordination by Western countries, especially the states The United states and the United Kingdom to ensure that the Hashemites remain on the throne of Jordan, who are considered the valve of Jordan’s safety, stability and their role in the regional and international peace.
By Rami Dabbas, Jordanian Writer, and Political Analyst.