Saturday , January 20 2018

Open government

FOR the first time since a quarter of century ago, Kuwait has acquired for itself a Cabinet formation which is free from partisanship. As it appears in the nature of ministerial portfolio distribution, the new Cabinet team is cohesive — something that has been missing in the country over the past years.

In previous Cabinets, the members were restricted by the mentality of keeping off constitutional accountability by pleasing political factions and parliamentary groups.

It is unfortunate that Kuwait formed 34 governments within 56 years of constitutional work. This means the average lifespan of a Cabinet does not exceed one year and a half. About 540 ministers joined these governments and majority of them are currently holding the title, ‘former minister’.

Perhaps, the previous governments had the shortest lifespan in the world and most of them were subjected to interpellations. This clearly shows the level of obstacles the Cabinets of this country have been facing throughout the past five decades. These obstacles hampered development, delayed progress and legislation.

Today, the seventh Cabinet of Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak seems to be different considering aspects of its ability to work and produce, not being submissive to parliamentary electoral calculations or in terms of executing laws and major schemes.

The strength and weakness of the Cabinet is determined based on these aspects. At the same time, it maintains confidentiality of its operations because its secrets will not be leaked to political factions and used as pressure points against it, similar to what happened in past Cabinets when a minister was aligned to a certain faction; thereby, putting the entire Cabinet in the hands of the faction.

We are convinced that the 35th Cabinet is different from its predecessors. In addition to being free from partisan influence as we mentioned earlier, it consists of several new ministers who give hope. Topping the list of such ministers is Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad who has a modern vision of work in terms of infrastructure development like Al-Hariri (Silk) City.

The new Cabinet is a source of strength and momentum at work. Undoubtedly, the new ministers will contribute to efforts to enhance transparency in State institutions and support the overall vision of the Executive Authority with new ideas that will change the grim image which prevailed in the past quarter century. With this conviction of majority of the people of Kuwait, what is required from the new ministers is much bigger than what is expected from them.

Frankly, the productivity rate of previous Cabinets varied. Some ministers deserved to continue what they have achieved so far but they did not return to the new Cabinet. Despite that, they deserve acknowledgement, appreciation and gratitude, and we wish them the best in their new responsibilities.

However, this does not mean we should cry over spilt milk. We all have to strive to support the new executive authority in carrying out its work plan. We hope this plan will be completely different from previous programs and match the aspirations of the people of this country.

Finally, we ought to be blunt, any parliamentary political ‘tweet’ for personal or electoral gains or implementing partisan agendas should be resolved through the dissolution of the Parliament, not the resignation of the Cabinet.

The list of former ministers is enough and may even end up breaking the world record in the category of Cabinet change.

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

 

 

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