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Kuwait’s democracy fun to listen to, sad to experience

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

DEMOCRACY remains an impractical theoretical theme. The concept has undergone changes in the last 2,500 years.

In principle, the change happened to this method of rule which started in Athens and spread across the ancient Greek states. From there, the concept of democracy spread across the world until it became a concept which is not related to the initial essence of this method of rule in many countries.

Today, majority rules even if it is just a small margin of the entire population, while the aspirations and rights of the minority are erased.

In other words, if the majority is 51 percent and the minority is 49 percent, the majority will impose its political and economic model on the minority. This is clearly unfair for the minority as it happened in Britain regarding its exit from the European Union (EU) as a result of a proper marketing campaign.

The current predicament of Britain is due to glamorous slogans and it is now enduring the repercussions. Britain has yet to adopt a clear plan for exiting from the EU.

About 1,200 laws must be amended after the exit; in addition to the negative impact on its economy, regional and international relations; hence, Britain is currently experiencing major political and economic chaos.

For quite some time, Kuwait has been enduring this kind of chaos, albeit for different reasons and despite having democratic institutions for 57 years since its inception.

The country continues to suffer due to a major flaw in legislation. Its laws are subject to partisan desires hidden behind political blocs, personal and electoral interests or influence which hampered many development and legislative projects.

This continues while the neighboring countries are moving quickly to develop their legislation and investment tools that guarantee increase in non-oil revenues. No project is endorsed in Kuwait.

In case of endorsement, the project is not implemented. If implemented, the project is delayed and there is no better manifestation than the long awaited University City in Shadadiya.

This is due to the fact that everything concerning such projects is subject to the Parliament’s approval. Majority of the parliamentary members do not serve public interest, as they are there just to get their share of the cake. It happened to the Dow Chemical project and the northern oil fields, while other countries have embarked on new mega projects.

In the past 25 years, we have been talking about the Silk City, yet none of the projects therein have seen the light till date. In addition, we have the vision 2035 which has become a theme.

In reality, it is supposed to be a fateful option for the entire country. All this is transpiring due to a glitch in the relationship of the government and Parliament. This is what experience proved 27 years ago – the return of parliamentary life in 1992.

Several governments have been formed and about 13 parliamentary elections have been conducted since then. Some parliaments did not even complete three months of the constitutional term due to practices which led to their dissolution.

Similar scenarios were seen in an organized and systemic march over the jurisdictions of other authorities. The latest of which was the attempt to transgress the authority of the judiciary and to twist its independence.

This kind of act raises several questions on the ultimate objective of parliamentary groups, which assume they can control the country in order to serve their interests and no one will hold them accountable.

In every report about the economy, Kuwait is at the bottom in attracting investments at a time we see foreign investors using their wealth in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman and State of Qatar. Hotels in those countries are crowded with tourists; but in Kuwait, every law discourages Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti investors.

In fact, capital is going outside the country. Apparently, this is due to lack of proper development vision. The government has been unable to play its role efficiently, while MPs are dancing to the tune of their partisan associates.

Therefore, the government is filled with ‘we will’ statements and empty promises which do not go beyond the ink used to write them. Worst of all, every incoming government ends up dancing to the tune of its predecessor, and Kuwait keeps on going around an empty circle. If this is the essence of democracy, it is awful in the sense that it destroys the country.

If it is the ideal path for development of society, we frankly say: We need legislative development and disentanglement of ministries which appear to be racing to disrupt development as one approves while the other disapproves. Because of that, we are behind in everything. In fact, some are taking pride in Kuwait being the last in taking this or that step.

We are supposed to be on top in terms of taking developmental steps in every field … that is if there is someone who still believes in pioneering amid the swamp of isolation and stumbles. What kind of democracy is this? It is fun to hear but sad to experience

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
ahmedaljarallah@gmail.com

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