King Abdullah II gave his shortest speech to the parliament Monday since assuming his constitutional authority back in 1999. The speech contained 394 words while the average speech over the past 15 years has been 1,168. The longest speech went to 1,470 words and was made back in 1999. All the King’s speeches are available online on the royal court’s website. Only two other speeches were less than 1000 words. In the fall of 2015 the King’s speech went to 920 words while the December 2005 speech to parliament went to 686 words.
Content wise, the King’s speeches mentioned the term “reform” every season except one in January 2000. The term reform in reference to political reform was mentioned 14 times in 2011 at the opening of the second session of the 16th parliament at the time of the Arab spring. It was refereed to 10 times in the fall of 2014 during the second session of the 17th parliament.
In the King’s speeches opening the sessions of parliament the term “democracy” witnessed the biggest fluctuation. It was mentioned six times in 1999 and five times in 2013, and four times in 2010 and 2011 but then it disappeared from the last seven speeches to parliament including Monday’s opener of the 18th Parliament.
Jerusalem on the other hand was absent from the first eight of the first eleven speeches but was mentioned twice in 2013 and three times in 2014. This increase seems to reflect the spike in Israeli attacks on Al Haram Al Sharif/Al Aqsa Mosque.
Most royal speeches to parliament occurred in November (7 times) while four occurred in December and two in October.