Thursday , October 18 2018

Interpellation or tools for disruption and settling scores

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

AFTER the renewal of confidence in Minister of Oil and Minister of Social Affairs, it did not take long for some MPs to wave a new interpellation against His Highness the Prime Minister.

It seems as though Kuwait is logged in a muscle-flexing match of parliamentarians who are supposed to represent the legislative authority responsible for monitoring the government’s performance instead of disrupting its work.

It seems as if all the challenges facing Kuwait are over, and the only remaining thing for the MPs to do is settle personal scores with the executive authority as well as score more populist points at the expense of the nation.

These MPs are forgetting the beating of war drums in the region, where everyone is cautious about making a miscalculated step, while the terrorism snakes are lurking around to the extent that their hisses can almost be heard by the deaf.

The MPs are also failing to take into consideration the stagnation of the  country’s economy. In fact, Kuwait has been experiencing the wear and tear resultant from daily altercations that are created for reasons which are merely personal. In fact, they continue exercising acrobatic politics, which indicate how lightly the local crises are being dealt with, even though they are not ashamed of investing it for other things about which only the masters of political blackmail know.

This affirms their detachment from the reality related to the regional events which determine the fate of countries and people. They are unfortunately preoccupied with shards of employment, regimented corruption and looting of the public funds, but all of these will not remain when Kuwait goes. Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh had been exercising her mandate on a society which is in violation of the law.

Because of that, one could hear an MP with personal interests in that society brandishing his constitutional tool (interpellation) and describing the minister’s work as being against a certain social sect.

However, the same MP failed to back his allegations with evidences to squash the arguments presented by the minister in the grilling. Some MPs with personal vendettas or interests in the issue stood in support of their colleague against the minister.

This disrupted the minister’s work as she is forced to mobilize all her staff into preparing responses. However, the mandate and the Constitution dictate the MP to grill the minister if she does not hold the society accountable for violations, and not the other way around.

Regarding the Minister of Oil Bakheet Al-Rasheedi, he has not spent more than one hundred days in office but he faced grilling concerning issues which are merely personal and related to job appointments and projects.

Perhaps what the MPs are aiming for is much higher, but the interpellation disrupts the work of the minister and the ministry, as the entire staff is put to the task of responding to the MP’s queries. This also happened to His Highness the Prime Minister in a marathon grilling session.

This rendered Kuwait to appear as though it is living under emergency conditions, and the MPs are contemplating solutions to exit from a historic disaster. In reality, all the three agendas presented against His Highness the Prime Minister could have been discussed in an ordinary session during which he would have answered them all, and then the MPs would have gone back to their tasks. No other country apart from Kuwait has used the constitutional tool of interpellation this extensively; in fact, it has been the cause for resignation of the Cabinet or dissolution of the Parliament. In the 1980s, it had even led to the suspension of the Constitution.

This is sheer evidence that the MPs have not properly learnt the lessons from the last six decades of parliamentary life in this country, especially in the last three decades which were the worst in all levels particularly with the political blackmail exercised by the Parliament against the executive authority.

Therefore, the question that occupies the minds of citizens today is — What have we benefited from such crooked parliamentary exercises that contradict every consideration and merit that show no concern for the national interest?

This unfortunately is being perpetrated by elements that have been entrusted by the people of Kuwait to care for their interest and the interest of the country by developing its infrastructure and facilitating economic growth, which will help in expanding the investment base, instead of massacring it by disregarding moral values and democratic concepts.

How many assemblies of this kind shall we bear? Political deviance and exploitation for the sake of personal interests have led to the spread of corruption in every state institution, to reach a point where Kuwait has been ranked among the lowest in the corruption index.

This begs us to ask — How much time do we need for us to consider this ranking as a sign of danger, as a sign that calls on both legislative and executive authorities to direct their work for eliminating all the reasons for the drop in Kuwait’s ranking in the corruption index? Staying in the current condition means we are very close to entering the club of failing countries.

We unfortunately have seen our representatives bragging and brandishing their swords to deflate what remains of this state. Isn’t it time for a decision to be issued for freeing Kuwait from this disease, keeping in mind that the last remedy is cauterization?

 

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

ahmedaljarallah@gmail.com

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