Letter to Senate President Taher Masri on the National Dialogue Committee

From King Abdallah II of Jordan
To Taher Masri
RE: National Dialogue Committee
14 March 2011
Translated from Arabic

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate

Your Excellency,

I would like to convey my greetings and express my respect for and appreciation of you. We have always regarded you as a dedicated and honest person in the pursuit of progress in our national march and of the ambitions of our people who aspire to the kind of reform and modernization that will create a Jordanian national model built on the foundations of pluralism, freedom, justice and equality.

We congratulate you for presiding over the National Dialogue Committee and wish your colleagues success in their meaningful discussions. Likewise, we wish you success in drafting the necessary framework as you lead a political dialogue that enhances achievement and stability and builds on previous accomplishments. We assert our support for you as you endeavor to arrive at workable recommendations that build on the reforms of the past decade.

As we reassert our confidence in you and your colleagues, the members of the committee, in steering the dialogue in a way that best serves Jordan, we ask you to bear in mind that you are expected to arrive at a democratic elections law that produces a legislature which represents all Jordanians and assumes a pioneering role in entrenching justice, integrity, transparency and the rule of the law as the elements of the practice of politics.

We also rely on you to ensure that this elections law leads to a qualitative leap in the performance of lawmakers and, subsequently, in parliamentary work, the pillar of our political life. Parliament should be regarded by all as the forum for legislating and oversight that speaks for every Jordanian man and woman, that contributes to a culture of parity and equal opportunity, that opposes wasta and favoritism, that plays an institutionalised and effective role in combating corruption and that properly monitors government performance, as the way to realise substantial and tangible improvement in our political performance.

Strenuous efforts should also be made to draft a political parties law that enriches political and partisan pluralism so as to empower active political powers to participate in the democratic process and decision making, through political parties that represent the aspirations of citizens, especially the youth, and respond to their needs.

In light of the sizeable national task you bear, we underscore the importance of setting a short timeframe, not exceeding three months, to reach national consensus with the aim of ensuring swiftness and seriousness in reviewing the two most important laws governing political action – because these form the gateway to the comprehensive political development process on which our hopes are pinned.

Reaching a national consensus requires that you seek the opinions of figures known for their distinguished experience in legislation, public service and state administration, out of keenness to engage a wide base of citizens and representatives of all political orientations in drafting the laws that strengthen democracy in Jordan.

I pray that God grant you success, sound judgment and ability to serve the interests of the country.

Your brother,

Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Amman, 14 March 2011