To Samir Rifai

From King Abdallah II of Jordan
(Letter of re-designation)
To Samir Rifai
22 November 2010
Translated from Arabic

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

Your Excellency Samir Rifai
Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you

I convey to you my greetings and best wishes, with much appreciation for the relentless and good efforts you and your colleagues the ministers have exerted in the service of our precious country and its high goals.

As you have tendered your resignation, I hereby accept it and task you with forming a new government that should proceed with the implementation of the set plans and programs launched by the government to translate our directives listed in the Letter of Designation sent to you about a year ago into a fruitful and feasible action that reflects positively on our proud Jordan and precious people.

I have followed what you and your colleagues the ministers have made of good efforts to push forward the comprehensive development process and realise the aspirations of our people, who deserve our maximum efforts to build a model Jordan where each man and woman enjoys the blessings of security, stability, an opportunity to excel and make achievements and a decent living. As I praise the accomplishments of the government in several fields, I assert that we have a long way to go. This means that we must continue working with a systematic, program-based, transparent and scientific approach to achieve the goals I outlined in the Designation Letter to the former government, with focus on the following priorities.

  1. Continuing with the reform process is strategic option dictated by the interests of our people and requirements of building the envisioned prosperous future. It should be noted that the reform process has not progressed at the pace we sought. It stumbled and slowed down now and then, and on more than one occasion, it was influenced with narrow calculations and private interests, a matter that has led the country to miss several opportunities and limited our ability to benefit from a time that is rich in possibility and progress and reap accomplishments built on previous achievements. In light of that, I task the new government to conduct an overall review with the aim of removing all obstacles that hinder progress in the implementation of the reform and modernisation strategy.
  2. Achieving political development in a way that increases political participation in the decision making process is a prerequisite to the success of all the other economic and social aspects of reform. The government should be working to build an environment where our vision for reform can be translated into facts on the ground lived by all our people. Having held parliamentary polls, which constituted an important step towards improving the election process and ensure its fairness and neutrality, I emphasize the need to send the temporary elections law to Parliament with urgency status to be studied and amended if necessary so that the product would be a law that is consistent with the interests of the country and the nature of the stage. Such a piece of legislation should be established as a component of political life and there should be cooperation with the legislative authority to enact the decentralization law to empower people to play a larger role in the making of their future and setting their development priorities.
  3. The legislative power has a key constitutional role in our national march. Cooperation between the two authorities within the limits of the Constitution and the law is a prerequisite for success in serving the ambitions and goals of our people. Therefore, a genuine partnership should be built with the Lower House so that the two branches can play their respective roles in full cooperation and integration, without either transgressing over the other, or such a relationship be distorted by calculations of private interests.  Having said that, we direct the government to  agree with the House on a mechanism of work based on the Constitution and the laws, clarifying the basis on which the two powers deal with each other. All should work with the spirit of teamwork to serve our national goals.  Rendering the development and modernisation programs a success and improving performance in all fields is a responsibility shared by all branches of government and state agencies. To meet such a responsibility, sincere collective efforts are required. Our people deserve that after they communicated their genuine desire for positive change at ballots during the parliamentary polls.
  4. Nothing has priority over our people’s right to a safe and decent life. Going ahead with reform programs is the way to secure a decent living for our citizens and open horizons of achievement for them. The government should continue working on improving the performance of the economy through clear programs and plans that increase the competitiveness and productivity of our economy, attract investments and launch job-generating projects that help expand the middle class and fight poverty and unemployment. This also necessitates continuing with the process of upgrading legislation, developing public administration, setting monitoring mechanisms, combating all forms of corruption and rehabilitating human resources. In this context, the achievement made in reducing the budget deficit should be built on through adopting workable fiscal policies that ensure optimal utilization of resources.
  5. Maintaining the blessings of security and stability Jordan enjoys is the duty of all state agencies and the community and it cannot be compromised. The government should exert utmost efforts to ensure the rule of the law, enforce it without discrimination and apply policies that guarantee justice for the society and preserve the dignity and rights of Jordanians. There will be no progress, development or achievement without stability, which we protect through law enforcement, justice, equality, community coherence and through protecting our national unity which has been and will be stronger than all attempts to tamper with or abuse. Within this context, the necessary steps should be taken to develop and support the judicial system and provide it with the facilities it needs with the aim of improving its performance and enhancing its capacity in a way that keeps the judicial authority an example of justice, integrity and independence.
  6. Our armed forces and security services will remain the center of our attention as they are the shield of the country and the protector of its march, achievements, security, stability and democracy. I direct the government to continue providing these agencies with all the necessary support to ensure their readiness and development in terms of armament and training and to secure their brave members the best livelihood.
  7. Ending the injustice our brotherly Palestinian people are subject to and empowering them to live freely in their independent and viable state established on their national soil is a strategic interest for Jordan. Restoring the legitimate rights of the Palestinian brothers, especially their right to a state and independence, is a prerequisite to achieving the comprehensive peace that we seek as we work to regain all Arab rights. The government should deploy all our international relations and continue to do what it can to support the Palestinian brothers and their endeavors to end the occupation and build their state's institutions.

Your Excellency,
As I entrust you with carrying the burden of responsibility at this critical stage of our march, I am confident that you will not defeat my expectations and will work with the ministers you select on the basis of merit and ability to make achievement to implement our directives with determination and devotion, within the framework of the transparent, program-based approach that I have outlined for you. You are expected to design programs and set their mechanisms of implementation and continuous evaluation so as to accumulate achievements, address imbalances and stop failures. There should be no loose decision making or giving priority to any other thing than the interests of the country and its people.

As I await your recommendations regarding your team of ministers who will share the responsibility with you, I pray to Almighty God to grant us success and help us serve the good of the country and people and to keep Jordan a proud, safe and stable country.

Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you

Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Amman, 22 November 2010