Thursday , October 19 2017

Dissolution no solution

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

SUDDENLY, the voices calling for dissolution of the National Assembly intensified although there are a few months left before the end of the current parliamentary term.

Could the fuel price hike be the reason behind this government-Parliament dispute which came after three years of ideal cooperation between the two authorities?

Furthermore, the image portrayed by those benefiting from dissolution of the Parliament before its tenure ends is that the government is unable to face the legislature on issues surrounding the economic reforms; thus, it opted for early elections.

What calculations did the two authorities use for the decisions they took? Will dissolution please the voters when it comes to justifications of the current members of Parliament for confronting the government’s procedures that the legislature considers unpopular? Or the MPs might be concerned about their popularity rate due to what the nullified opposition has been agitating about? Or their failure to postpone execution of the economic reform until after the elections could be the reason behind the interpellation motions which the government seems keen on confronting through dissolution?

If the Parliament failed to bend the government’s position, it is the latter that failed — as usual — in marketing its decisions and measures; especially the vital issues related to the destiny of the country such as lifting subsidies and amendment of laws that created something like a huge black hole which devoured billions annually under the pretext of welfare. This happened when the government tried hard to cover the hole in a bid to protect the financial center of the country and to pass this period with the least losses.

The inability of the government is faced by voters’ conviction that Kuwait is a country which caters for the needs of its citizens from cradle to grave. It paved way for parliamentary nominees and MPs to buy election loyalties through the issuance of more laws on grants, allowances, rewards and overseas treatment; let alone calls for adding new items to the list of subsidized supplies, materials, electricity and water.

On the other hand, they raised slogans throughout the past years but they did not take action. First of such slogans is the supposed amendment of the law on loans in order get rid of the injustice experienced by citizens. The number of those pursued by the judiciary and banned from traveling reached about 75,000 and majority of them have debts not exceeding KD 2,000.

By the way, this prejudicial law exists only in Kuwait. Most countries have more flexible measures and travel ban is not one of them.

Unfortunately, several laws need to be amended and updated immediately but the MPs failed to do so although they considered these laws their priorities during their campaigns.

In addition, we are at a stage that we cannot afford to postpone implementation of economic reforms. Therefore, everyone must be convinced that the measures which appear to be unpopular externally will actually help in pulling us out of the recurring crises that Kuwait finds itself facing after every few years.

Considering these facts, dissolution of the Parliament is not a solution to the crisis. It will rather intensify the crisis because the new members of Parliament will exert their efforts to cripple the economic reforms in order not to lose their electoral bases. This leaves us with one question: “Is the government striving to fall into this trap to avoid bearing its historical responsibilities?”

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

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