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GIVEN the fact that “hearsay” is the most active news agency in Kuwait, the rate of rumors has intensified with the start of the search for new ministers. You would hear that so-and-so will be appointed or so-and-so will be excluded from the future government. However, all this remains guesswork until the actual announcement of the new Cabinet.
This is the fourth government of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, who was entrusted by an Amiri order to choose those who will assist him to run the government. Given that there is a good segment of people who wanted someone different to take over the premiership, all that is to be done is to accept the choice made by the top political leader of this country.
There are many figures who have been tried. For three decades, some of them have been almost permanent candidates due to either family, commercial, sectarian or tribal considerations, despite their abject failure in the tasks entrusted to them.
Hence, all Kuwaitis wish for the names that are currently circulating not to become a reality, as it will be a setback for the government and will be reflected in its performance in the future, especially as the country needs constitutional and legal reforms to allow young blood to be pumped into all its facilities.
What is required are ministers who are competent, and not those who cave in or bow to the game of mutual interests.
In all countries around the world, especially democratic ones, the selection is made according to competence and knowledge. There are no considerations on the basis of tribe, sect, region, or financial and commercial strength. This has been emphasized by top leadership, and whatever has been conveyed through their opinion regarding their vision of the future government, because it is the natural path of reform.
In this regard, we can go back to what the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference. He directly described the State of Kuwait by saying, “The apotheosis of any system, even if it is a system with a democratic form, is the first obstacle to renewing democracy and addressing its imbalances. And if it exists, we must not be afraid when we are referring to a wrong practice, for democracy in its origin is a means, not an end … It is a practice, not a slogan or symbol”.
There is no doubt that the democratic practice in Kuwait, especially in the parliamentary and governmental fields, has deviated from its course and turned into a tool of demolition due to adherence to the form without working on the constitutional text and its content. This affected a series of laws, some of which have not been amended for 40 or 50 years.
Ultimately, this led to the inability to solve the problems related to housing, economic, industrial development, food security, banking system, improvement of sovereign credit rating, freedom of opinion and expression, health, and infrastructure.
Therefore, in order to fix these imbalances, a healthy relationship between the two authorities is necessary. All of this requires amending the constitution to correct the imbalances, and reform the relationship between all authorities.
Ignoring that and returning to square one through bickering between the government and the parliament, seeking to immunize oneself from parliamentary accountability, and MPs fighting their personal battles at the expense of the public interest and making clandestine deals will exacerbate the crisis, and will mark the fourth Cabinet of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled with failure.
The question is — Will he accept that on himself?
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times