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KUWAIT CITY, Sept 28: A number of intellectuals and those interested in political affairs of the country sent an open letter to His Highness the Deputy Amir. This letter included seven items proposed by them as a road map for saving the country, reports Al-Rai daily.
The following is an excerpt of the letter: “We, the signatories of this open letter addressed to your Highness, are honored to extend to you our best regards and sincere wishes for success and stability. We wish for the revival of health and wellness to His Highness the Amir of the country Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (May God protect him).
Perhaps everyone appreciates the delicate circumstances and the difficult challenges facing your Highness, as you bear the constitutional responsibility of being the Deputy Amir.
Hence, we ask your Highness to allow us to address you with this open letter based on Article 45 of the Constitution regarding the right of individuals to address the public authorities. We feel the need to present to you our proposals and perceptions to get our country out of the stifling crisis that it has been suffering for years.
His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince, it is no secret that the country suffers from political, financial and administrative corruption, a noticeable decline in government and parliamentary performance, poor political and financial management of the State, confusion in decisions, negligence about the requirements of social justice in economic trends, and the exacerbation of problems and general imbalances with the inability to solve them.
They have turned from solvable problems to persistent intractable problems and imbalances represented in the blockage of development horizons, budget deficits, demographic imbalances, underdevelopment of education, deterioration of infrastructure and deterioration of public services.
We see that these problems, imbalances and negative aspects did not come out of nowhere, but rather are the result of deep, intertwining causes represented in three aspects:
1. The interests of a limited minority of influential people governing political, economic and administrative decisions.
2. Disrupting popular participation by restricting freedoms and tampering with the electoral system.
3. Failure of the political system to meet the requirements of State administration, especially in light of the individual, noninstitutional nature of choosing a ministerial position, electoral activity and parliamentary work.
His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince, while there is always a need to work on correcting the course and reforming conditions, what is required today more than ever is to expedite the elaboration of a road-map and take urgent measures and steps to stop the deteriorating situation, limit the retreat, and work on saving the country.
Hence, we wish Your Highness would take the initiative to conduct a wide range of consultations with opinion-holders among the sincere men and women of Kuwait and its youth, as well as from personalities, political groups, trade unions, and economic, social and professional activists in order to achieve the desired road-map.
As for us – the signatories of this open letter addressed to Your Highness, we present the following seven points as an endeavor in this regard:
1. Achieve a political breakthrough that begins with the release of freedoms through the abolition or amendment of laws restricting freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, and freedom of gathering, the laws of electronic media, electronic crimes, print and publishing, and audiovisual media, the law of public benefit societies, and the law banning the offenders.
2. Form a national salvation government of statesmen and individuals known for their competence, integrity and sincerity. Its first task would be to fight corruption in action and not in words, and its other task is to complete the achievement of political detente, arrange a comprehensive amnesty for political issues, and abolish the decree of the one-vote law.
3. Take measures, without postponing, to address the rampant political, financial and administrative corruption in the country. This will purify State institutions and agencies of corrupt elements, deal with the deficiencies, and fill the gaps in laws against corruption, conflicts of interest and money laundering. This is aimed to activate the United Nations’ agreements to combat corruption and cooperate with civil society institutions concerned with public funds and transparency in order to put in place procedures and measures to prevent benefit, abuse of influence, embezzlement and plundering of public funds.
4. Reach an agreement on democratic reform laws regarding the electoral system either through a proportional representation system and electoral lists, or a mixed system. Also, organize the political arena through a democratic law to declare political groups on national basis, and establish an independent body to regulate the advertisement of political groups and monitor elections, while ensuring the integrity of the elections and preventing interference in it, and setting a ceiling for electoral spending.
5. Address the budget deficit through remedies and solutions to stop waste, benefits and corruption, limit the exaggeration in pricing government tenders and contracts, and control variation orders.