AL-WAHDAWI: Sanaa weekly, 3-12-97. [Archives:1998/01/Press Review]

January 5 1998

(Nasserite Unionist Party)
Main Headlines: 1- The government starves the people to spend budget money on defense & security 2- Nasserite bloc in parliament voted in favor of agreement with OPEC International Development Fund to finance vocational training 3- Nasserite Secretary-General, Abdulmalik Al-Mikhlafi extends his condolence to the family of the late patriotic figure Omar AL-Jawi 4- Fears are expressed of a Jordanian involvement in a possible US attack against Iraq Article Summary: Bribery & Constitutional Violation – editorial Parliament, by endorsing the 1998 budget despite all its shortcomings, has proved to be one side of a coin whose other side is the government. Parliament always accepts what is proposed by the government, notwithstanding the “hot” debates. All MPs know very well that the recommendations and reservations they expressed – enough to reject the proposed budget altogether – will not be heeded by the government. The most shameful aspect in all this is that parliament got a “bribe” for ratifying next year’s budget. Most MPs were mainly concerned with increasing the annual parliamentary allowance from YR 999 million to YR 1,130 million, which received the government’s immediate approval. To add insult to injury, the constitution strictly prohibits parliament from adding to, or deducting from, the annual state budget.