Royal Discussion Papers
Since ascending the Throne in 1999, His Majesty King Abdullah II has expressed a clear and consistent vision for comprehensive reform and the future of Jordanian democracy.
In this series of discussion papers, His Majesty lays out perspectives on specific elements of our journey towards realizing that future. The aim of these papers is to facilitate a national conversation around our reform roadmap and democratic transformation to build consensus, encourage citizens’ participation in decision-making, and sustain the constructive momentum for reform. Direct outreach is the most vital and distinctive feature of His Majesty King Abdullah II’s relationship with citizens. In light of the democratic transition and intensive reform process Jordan is undergoing, His Majesty decided to take a further step in his outreach mechanism with citizens through the publication of a series of discussion papers on various media platforms. Through the papers, His Majesty offers a Royal patronage for unrestricted, constructive and intelligent discussions on Jordan’s future, by dissolving red lines and reiterating that Jordanians themselves hold the key to their own destiny. While there is much domestic political debate, the papers, in their sequence, lay out the requirements for democracy and positive discourse, offer a wider and long-term perspective to current political discussions and merge the various opinions into a comprehensive practical and translatable platform. Furthermore, the Royal vision presented in the papers reiterates Jordanian core values and safeguards from dilution. The publication of the first two discussion papers coincided with the elections held on 23 January 2013, which as His Majesty reiterated, lead to piloting parliamentary governments, in line with Jordan’s constitutional monarchy.
In this context, the primary goals of the series of discussion papers are for His Majesty to candidly and directly share his thoughts with citizens’ to develop the democratization process and ensure its success. This will stimulate debate and launch a vigorous, constructive and all-inclusive national dialogue over issues of national priority.
The first discussion paper, entitled ‘Our journey to forge our path towards democracy’, touched on two principle issues: the ethics of democracy, specifically in how we disagree with each other in the public sphere and how we can take decisions on the national level.
The paper included a call by His Majesty to consolidate four practices to enroot democracy:
o Respect for all fellow citizens is the essence of our unity.
o Citizenship and accountability go hand in hand.
o Harnessing disagreement into compromise while maintaining constant dialogue.
o Shared gains and sacrifices.
In the second discussion paper, entitled ‘Making our democratic system work for all Jordanians’, His Majesty outlines the unwavering principles that will underpin Jordan’s democratic transition process, Jordan’s form of parliamentary government versus other models in the world, the outline of how HM will select the next prime minster in Jordan that will kick start the process of a parliamentary government system, and the conditions necessary for a successful transition towards a full parliamentary government system of governance.
Read the papers here: