Hamdock’s Initiative & the Political Will

Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeid

Last week, the Prime Minister, Dr. Abdullah Hamdock, launched an initiative entitled “National Crisis and Transition Issues, the Way Forward”. The responses varied between rejecting, supporting, and critical skeptics. The rejecting response, in my view, is negative & absurd. It doesn’t recognize that the man is calling on everyone to work together to get the country out of its current crisis, and no sane person can refuse that. The supporters considered the initiative a starting point towards reform and called for intensifying efforts to provide the appropriate mechanisms to guarantee its put success.

The critical skeptics deemed the initiative an attempt to circumvent the real causes of the crisis, the failure of the transitional government to accomplish the main tasks of the transition, saying that it does not add anything new because what it proposes is already included in the constitutional document, and all the points that it carried are among the Prime Minister’s duties as the chief executive officer, backed by a sweeping and unprecedented popular mandate.

Some, among the critical skeptics, went further accusing Hamdock of being soft, gelatinous, and surrounded by a thick wall of ambiguity. They call him an authentic partner in all what he complained about in his speech, while he talks about the failures of the government as if he was not the Prime Minister all this time. Personally, and despite my conviction regarding the objectivity of many points raised by the critical skeptics, I place myself among the supporters, of course with a critical approach, and I call for a positive interaction with the initiative, instead of a negative attitude that only observes & shoots useless questions, or resorts to lazy comments, or comes out with conclusions, such as the Prime Minister tries to evade his role in the failures while blaming others.

The main points of the initiative are indeed the mere issues of the transition that the government was supposed to address. Yet, it is credited to the PM as a step forward towards transparency and the search for solutions with the participation of the grassroots, though I think it would have been far better if the speech advanced two or three steps forward & proposed a road map, an action plan, to save our country out of the bottleneck.

I hope the recent government retreat, which ended two days ago, will correct this matter and detail what was stated in the initiative. However, the concretization of any vision or action plan requires strong political will & mastery of management arts. Unfortunately, we are lacking these two main elements among the political elites, in and outside the government.

We all need a pause for review & evaluation, not only to justify failures, nor to personalize issues, or to blame this or that official, but rather to disperse any negative shipments, static in the combined leadership, and provide positive stimuli and energy that strengthen the will and management, to be shown in transparent disclosure with the people about what has been done and what hasn’t and why, and in taking well-studied decisions in favor of more efficiency and effectiveness, and in favor of removing obstacles, whether they are practices or personnel.

For my part, I will dedicate my upcoming articles to address what was stated in the speech, not merely by commenting and making observations, but rather by presenting proposals regarding each of the issues raised in the initiative. However, I have been dealing with this methodology of presenting suggestions and alternatives, since day one of the transitional period.

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