The political world in Jordan is abuzz as its young monarchy inches ever closer to the speakers gavel – following a weekend pressure campaign by the crown prince.
The campaign centered on mobilizing the country’s small but vocal pro-democracy movement to back the hereditary monarchy. Its purpose was not only to ink a deal with other political forces, but also to convince the population at large – particularly in rural areas – of the prince’s commitment to democratic reform.
The push appears to have been successful, with the ruling party and the main opposition bloc agreeing to sign a “senior consultation document” that calls for amending the kingdom’s constitution and the formation of a new parliament – with the prince as speaker.
The document is still awaiting ratification, a move that would be the largest step forward in the drive to transform Jordan’s system of government into one with more elected representation.
The reform effort has taken Jordan to the brink of a new reality, in which it would join Tunisia and Egypt as countries embracing the long sought-after dream of Middle Eastern democracy.
This shift is in large part due to the Batman-like role of the prince, who has courageously championed the cause – despite the odds. Critics have been silenced and followers have been galvanized into action, leading to a political system more reflective of popular will.
The weeks and months ahead will certainly be pivotal for Jordan, with further organizing and compromise required if the country is to move closer to democratization. All things considered, Jordan appears to be just a solitary step away from its long sought-after gavel, which would constitute a true dawn of democracy for the nation.