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Razzaz says general feelings of distrust, pessimism hindering progress


By Renad Aljadid, The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The overall pessimistic mood and the gap of trust between the government and citizens are major obstacles, to progress Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said on Tuesday.
During a meeting with representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs), Razzaz wondered if the solution to the general feelings of distrust and frustration can be through the development of a deep and long-term vision or through the implementation of quick and in-the-moment achievements.
He said that the government is aware of the major issues that occupy Jordanians’ minds, mainly corruption, unemployment and poor public services, adding that they were all addressed in the government priorities for 2019-2020. “But the speed of achievement is a major issue that is affected by several powers and factors.”
Razzaz said that Jordanian society can be classified into four groups: one that refuses change for particular interests, a group with an exclusivist mentality, a frustrated and pessimistic group that has lost hope and an optimistic group that is eager for development and creating change.
“I do not blame any group on how they feel, and all roles are complementary and a healthy phenomenon as long as there is no hate speech or rejection of the other,” Razzaz said, adding that the “government’s role is to offer equal opportunities to all, by granting basic rights in major sectors like health, education and transportation, in addition to other political and economic reforms within the country’s national development project”. 
Razzaz said that the role of CSOs is vital in developing deeper and clearer visions of the various issues and identifying an approach to deal with them.
“We want a real implementation of justice and the rule of law as a reflection of the announced positive orientations,” Nidal Mansour, executive president of Centre of Defending Freedom of Journalists, calling on the government to withdraw the cybercrimes draft law from Parliament. 
Former minister and activist Asma Kahder, who is also SIGI’s CEO, said that there are lots of complications on the work of CSOs, in addition to their absence on the discussion table over laws and other national issues.
For Asem Rababaa, the president of Adaleh Centre for Human Rights Studies, the government’s problem lies in the “denial of problems instead of finding solutions”, citing the centre’s recent report on torture practices in Jordan which was received with denial by the security bodies instead of fruitful discussions to take constructive preventive measures. 
“There are governmental institutions whose work contradicts with the governmental pledges and the Royal Directives,” Phenix Centre Director Ahmad Awad added. 
He added that Jordan has a powerful chance for development and change, politically, economically, socially and culturally, but “the most important thing is not to give up”.

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