Friday , December 15 2017

Blackmail MPs and ‘jittery’ government

Ahmed Al-Jarallah – Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

ARE we cursed with political mediocrity and blackmail game? It seems so! The players of this game are insensitive to the local or regional economic and financial situation, the constant direct threats issued by terrorist groups and the agenda of the remapping of countries.

It appears as though every time we come out of a crisis, we end up falling into another one that is more complex than the previous one because of the vagaries of parliamentarians which are based on their interests and the populistic stances.

Such an attitude makes everyone believe that we are light-years away from properly understanding democracy, the concept of balance between the executive and legislative authorities, and the urgency in prioritizing national agendas over any other during difficult times.

It also seems as though there are some who are striving to return the country to its past miserable state which had resulted from issues related to political quotas, affinity towards certain factions and the submission of consecutive governments to parliamentary blackmail aimed at tickling public emotions.

This has triggered the parliamentarians’ appetite for dismissing issues concerning the country’s destiny, allowing them to practice dictatorship and take over the powers of the executive authority.

In well-established democracies, there are limits set by the law and constitutions beyond which the MPs and ministers do not go, while the opposition plays its designated role without involving any personal interests. Every time a government is formed from various political factions and if such a coalition turns into a fighting ring or a bazaar; the government immediately unites and confronts the opposition strongly and relentlessly.

On the other hand, the major traits of our MPs in Kuwait are selfishness and blindness to threats and risks. Our ministers are jittery and nervous such that every time they hear a voice, they assume it is meant for them.

In 1998, the famous Moroccan opposition leader Abdulrahman Al-Yousefi was appointed as the prime minister. At that time, a new and fierce opposition had emerged but it did not cross the lines of the national accord. When he was asked his opinion concerning this, he said his famous words, “They are speaking and opposing anyhow they want. We are doing as per the Constitution.”

Undoubtedly, we are not in a period of political relaxation that allows us the leisure of gaining political points. Any point scored in the ongoing battle of survival between the known group of MPs and the government translates into general destruction for the country, which was exactly what had happened in the previous years.

During those years, some MPs practiced organized intimidation on the rest of the MPs and the ministers, in turn crippling the country and hampering the legislative and economic wheel. It also increased the level of anxiety among the people of Kuwait concerning their destiny in general.

It seems as though such a scene is about to repeat itself following the clamor that led to the interpellation of the Minister of Information and State Minister for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud, and reports about the government’s intention to let him go.

If that happens, it will be the start to a long ugly series of political blackmail, which will not come to an end with the dismissal of the minister. Instead, it will give the MPs, who returned from their boycott of the previous elections, the necessary momentum and strength to impose more pressure on the government in order to achieve their agendas. This aspect will be what drives the country to major destruction.

These people will not be satisfied with the resignation of the government. They are still working towards achieving their endeavor for an “elected Prime Minister” even if they are currently not saying that slogan out loud. However, such a slogan was in the open even before the government was formed and its program was presented.

The issue is not about supporting the minister but the fact that it is threatening the entire country. The government should not submit to intimidations because it will transform it into a rolling snowball. If that happens, regrets will be of no avail.

The government needs to use its constitutional tools in order to fortify itself and protect its reverence and honor for the sake of Kuwait and its people. It must focus almost all of its efforts on combating external threats.

It should avoid going back to the era when Kuwait was politically exposed and had almost fallen into abyss, if not for the protection of the Almighty Allah, and the wisdom Allah granted His Highness the Amir of Kuwait.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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