AFTER every parliamentary election, the level of optimism increases with the hope that the new Parliament will be different from the previous one.
However, when the Members of Parliament settle in their parliamentary seats, political blackmail and squabbling return, and the two authorities start moving around an empty circle of conflicts, which are synchronized with the timings of personal interests of the ministers and parliamentarians.
While all this is happening, citizens continue to suffer from the crippling of development and projects, and manacling of the country with laws that weaken it further, let alone restraints on liberties and individual initiatives, and increased dependence on the public and state wealth.
It seems like this country’s democratic experience of about 90 years — since the election of the first Advisory Council in the 1920s — has not yet reached the maturity stage, which means it is still in its political teenage stage. Parliamentary bodies prior to the invasion of Kuwait endorsed several laws even though they contradicted the nature of the people of this country.
Those laws were being advocated at that time by Islamist political factions such as Muslim Brotherhood Group. They were seconded by those who considered themselves to be liberals, progressive and other similar titles and descriptions. With those laws, the course of changes in the cultural nature of the Kuwaiti society began.
Unfortunately, the factions that were supposed to be progressive had approved those laws for the sake of achieving the personal interests of a member of that faction, and not based on its principles.
With that, the culture of doubts prevailed among citizens and on patriotism. There were even doubts on faith, which is a personal matter between a person and his Creator.
With the pressure of political speech masked with Islam and its “revival”, Kuwait entered an era of deliberate ignorance. The Muslim Brotherhood Group began controlling the state’s sectors such as education, finance and society.
From that time, the “scratch my back, I scratch yours” became the lucrative policy and the norm of legislation in this country. This reality continues to impose itself in the minds of Kuwaitis today with proposals of weird and strange laws. It continues to cement itself in our minds with every interpellation presented against a minister or even His Highness the Prime Minister from which the repugnant smell of personal interests emits. It contradicts the nature of human beings learning from their personal mistakes.
We are supposed to have learnt from the harsh experience of invasion by remedying the weak aspects and covering the cracks through which any enemy could infiltrate into our internal arena. Unfortunately, it seems we did not learn.
This is because those cracks, as it appears, have become gates through which diseases that weaken our society enter. The first of such diseases entered in 1996 in the form of banning coeducation, which was a major downturn.
Instead of ensuring more openness and responsible freedom, the MPs at that time began planting seeds of doubt among the children of this country since then. They exchanged personal interests in endorsing that law at the expense of the people. They forced the state to bear major financial burden as the result of this monstrous law. From what I remember, the moral ethics of anyone who opposed that law was questioned at that time, and organized oppression was practiced against them.
It did not come as a surprise at that time for some MPs affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood Group to propose laws that serve their parent faction’s plan, such as proposing a bill that would directly interfere with the authority of the Head of State when he pledged financial support of $4 billion as aid package to Egypt. In response to that support, those MPs proposed a law to limit, or rather put a cap on, the financial support that the Head of State can donate, insisting that it should not exceed KD 5 billion. If the abovementioned bill had been endorsed, we would have seen the MPs exercising command on the rule, which is a clear violation of the Constitution.
It is worth knowing that such a bill was part of the unceasing attempts to destroy the Arab World by the Muslim Brotherhood Group since the start of the chaotic wave of “Arab Spring”. However, this was being carried out by toppling the rule in Kuwait through the Parliament after attempts to take over the rule through chaos in the streets failed. All this transpired through the game of exchange of interests among various political factions in the Parliament.
The objectives of the MPs were to take control of the public wealth, and exercise parliamentary dictatorship, or rather render the rule in the hands of the Parliament. Another example of such strange bills is the one submitted recently by MPs Waleed Al-Tabtabaie, Omar Al- Tabtabaie, Abdulwahab Al-Babtain, Mubarak Al-Hajraf and Khaled Al- Otaibi to toughen the punishment for social media bloggers. In the previous parliaments, a bill was submitted to ban criticism of MPs and the National Assembly.
Parallel to that, a group of MPs crippled major projects and prevented endorsement of legislations in the interest of some of them or to serve some influential individuals. Currently, there are a series of interpellations scheduled to be presented to Minister of Oil, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, and His Highness the Prime Minister. All of them are based on personal or electoral interests of the MPs.
These MPs are claiming that the objective of their interpellations is to correct the bearing of the government’s work. However, their main objective is to continue with the political blackmailing, weakening of the government and further domination of the country’s destiny. Indeed, despite the fact that not all interpellations succeed in achieving the objectives of MPs, the process cripples the work of the government and kills the development that has almost become a dream for Kuwait due to the obstacles set by the MPs. They view the parliamentary work as a tool to milk the country and loot the public wealth.
The one who pays the price in all of this is the ordinary citizen. They are about to disown democracy from which the only thing that has resulted is underdevelopment, economic stagnation and more parliamentary dictatorship. Unfortunately, the government combats the parliament with more relinquishments or evasion of confrontation through resignation.
This phenomenon has reached a point where Kuwait, in recent years, seems to have started competing with Italy in terms of forming a government after every month, or with France where the French people are unable to bear parliamentary dictatorship, which pushed its President Charles de Gaulle to take a series of historic measures that led to the birth of France’s fifth republic.
A few years ago, His Highness the Amir of Kuwait issued a historical decree of the one-vote system, which rectified the electoral representation of citizens in the Parliament. Today, everyone is waiting for a decision from His Highness the Amir that will rescue and prevent Kuwait from losing what remains of its history and culture in order to avoid a group of MPs from gnawing on the bone of the state.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times