ACCORDING to the prevailing custom, the Prime Minister-designate has 15 days to present his team of ministers. Before the position of the Crown Prince was separated from the Prime Minister, the person concerned was known. The picture changed after 2003, and the issue became limited to whoever His Highness the Amir chooses to take over this task.
However, it has become the usual practice to re-assign the same person more than once. From that date until 2011, the same person was reassigned more than once, but after the cruel and unjust campaign against His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed by the mob that wanted to push the country into chaos under the slogan of “The Arab Spring”, Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad apologized for taking over the task. The matter was assigned to His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak until late last year when His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled was chosen to assume the leadership of the Council of Ministers. It was considered temporary to run a watershed period until the parliamentary elections.
Today, in the face of a radical change in the National Assembly, it seems that the upcoming ministerial team will be in a confrontation with a fierce opposition that is completely different from what was the case in the previous Parliament, which the Kuwaitis referred to as “The Parliament of Delegates”. The ministers were getting rid of accountability by providing more services to lawmakers, coupled with conclusion of deals that darkened their noses, and the spread of corruption as part of the government’s behavior which led to more deficits at all levels.
There is no doubt that His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, after one year and 18 days of leadership and due to the many criticisms from both Parliament and public about most of the ministers, is well aware of the weaknesses and failures of each minister.
To assign him again to form the new government, he must have a complete perception of the support team in the executive authority. He must avoid falling into the previous mistakes in order to ensure the future government is not lame and will not suffer great weakness and imbalance, as was the case with the previous one. It should not write a statement of its failure with the announcement of its birth, or get lost in mazes by losing its momentum and turning the executive authority into a “dealer tracker” for the representatives.
The upcoming government has a big and fateful task that is primarily confined to addressing the fiscal deficit which has risen to about 150 percent, and the further reduction of Kuwait’s credit rating with it, which means more interest risks on international loans. This is one of the many problems that must be addressed.
During the past 12 and a half months, Kuwait underwent several tests but the Cabinet unfortunately failed in many of them. With the exception of the elections, it can indeed be said that it had no luck in any file or issue.
Therefore, if His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled does not change his approach in choosing ministers and in the management of his council, there is no doubt that we will face a parliamentary-ministerial problem which would either end with the dissolution of the National Assembly or the dismissal of His Highness the Prime Minister. Therefore, the challenge is great, and there must be sophistication in this regard.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times