What is currently happening in Jordan merits close attention and observation, because of the importance of its internal stability and the fact that throughout its history, the Hashemite kingdom’s location has been a source of constant struggle and suffering.
The battle for political and economic reform and the renunciation of corruption, whose slogan has been raised by the Jordanian political masses and smartly adopted by King Abdullah II, is the chief touchstone through which the monarchy’s future stability and the safety of the Jordanian Kingdom can be analyzed.
The sudden and dramatic resignation of [former Prime Minister] Awn al-Khasawneh – in a move that has not occurred throughout the history of Jordan except with Brigadier Mohammed Daud’s cabinet during the reign of King Hussein Ibn Talal, God rest his soul – takes the country back to square one. The appointment of Dr. Fayez al-Tarawneh (63 years old) as the new Prime Minister of Jordan comes as a definite and guaranteed solution to ensure that no further clashes occur between the royal court on the one hand and the government on the other.
Dr. Al-Tarawneh has held the top posts in both establishments; once he was chief of the Hashemite Royal Court, and on another occasion he served as Prime Minister in the most delicate and dangerous of times. I can claim to have known the man up close on both occasions, but I knew him best during the most critical incumbency in the history of contemporary Jordan. In other words, during the late King Hussein’s final illness, at the beginning of the power struggle in his absence, then during his return [from his treatment trip to the US], after which he relieved his brother Prince Hassan Ibn Talal of his post. Subsequently, King Hussein held a famous meeting with a chosen group of royals, notables and Dr. Al-Tarawneh, to inform them of his installation of his son, Abdullah Ibn al-Hussein, as Crown Prince and Viceroy. In that meeting, King Hussein asked the attendees to stand by his son and advise him as the upcoming monarch of the country.
As critical as those days were, Dr. Al-Tarawneh played the role as a transferor of power in discreet silence, showing much wisdom and capability. He was one of the most prominent supporters of a peaceful transition of power from one era to another. Again, during that period, a highly organized and cohesive funeral service was arranged for the late King Hussein. The new Monarch was sworn in with great solemnity and the new era was upheld with skilled craftsmanship.
Maybe Dr. al-Tarawneh’s mission this time won’t exceed 100 days in length, and maybe its main aim is to try and avoid the eruption of a crisis between the ruling authority, the street and the parliament. However, in terms of political value, his mission is very important, and when it comes to daunting missions, the royal court always turns to men of confidence. This applies to the case at hand. Dr. Fayez al-Tarawneh has been summoned to undertake this challenging task. The mission might be short in terms of time scale, yet it could prove very costly if it fails.