THERE is a question that has been asked many times in various local circles – What is the point of having a strong Parliament which continues day by day to exceed the cost of Parliamentary positions on financial and economic aspects? Is democracy about accusations and blackmailing?
Whenever the Parliament is drowning in altercations, interpellations and legislative crippling, it is considered as a strong Parliament. On the other hand, a productive Parliament that performs its oversight and legislative duties is considered as a weak Parliament and a Parliament of agents. This fact is the basis for the question.
Perhaps those asking the question find its answers in the series of blackmail requirements which are attributed to some members of parliament, like those who have been threatening the Health Minister with interpellation and vowing to give him a vote of no-confidence if the minister does not dismiss the ministry’s undersecretary.
One of the lawmakers has been threatening the Interior Minister on the grounds of not accomplishing his self-serving demands. Another lawmaker has vowed to put the Prime Minister on the parliamentary stand if he does not reinstate the citizenships that were revoked constitutionally. It is difficult to know who is next in the parliamentary intimidation list after the Prime Minister.
Some of the MPs have returned to their old habits of portraying themselves as being above the constitution and laws of the country.
They had previously failed in their attempt to take over the state after their Parliament was nullified by a verdict issued by the Constitutional Court in 2012. They faced disappointment when they tried to drag Kuwait into the swamp of chaos under the slogan “Arab Spring” and failed in controlling their people in the state domains for their interests.
By grouping the parliamentarians who had boycotted elections in the past and amending the law on voting, which got rid of sectarian, tribal and partisan factions and ensured proper representation of people, they are now trying to usurp the state and its entire authority, and render the government to be their agents for accomplishing whatever they command.
No one denies the right of the MP to enquire about the performance of the government in every aspect, especially since the tool for enquiry has been guaranteed for the members of the Parliament by the Constitution.
This constitutional tool allows the parliamentarians to perform their oversight role and rectify the government’s course whenever there is a problem. However, their work is not limited within this framework of duty.
This is not what Kuwaitis voted for in the last elections after they were burnt by the flames of parliamentary chaos in the previous parliaments that rendered Kuwait to go around an empty circle of retardation of laws and development, and led to series of devastation and challenges that threatened the livelihood of thousands of families and their displacement from their houses.
The previous Parliaments caused the economic shrinkage amid the financial crisis brought by the low prices of oil, which is the main source of income for the country. Those Parliaments as well as the current one did not work on stipulating laws that encourage diversification of income. In fact, they strived to cripple projects maliciously in a manner not witnessed even in the “Banana Republic”.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times