Wednesday , December 13 2017

Review the Constitution … fix the regulations

NO ONE in Kuwait wishes for lame constitutional establishments that do not perform their duties efficiently, although there is a bitter fact proven by the resignation of the government with regard to the political calmness which is currently overwhelming the National Assembly.

At present, members of the Parliament cannot engage in battles with ministers because the current circumstances prevent work appointments and passing of transactions for the sake of votes. This is the weak point of parliamentarians and they cannot bear its exposure for a long period, because it equates to cutting off their political oxygen.

From here, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah can prolong the period of consultations prior to forming the new government in a manner that corresponds with the general national direction, not in accordance with the interests of parliamentarians.

In other words, consultations can continue for months, leaving the internal front calm and everyone turns to perform their duties in accordance with the actual requirements of development, not sinking into the swamp of rumble.

As it appears, some parliamentarians have yet to comprehend the essence of His Highness the Amir’s message to the National Assembly and the importance of every word in it due to the fact that some of them brandish interpellation even before knowing the minister in question.

Undoubtedly, this unusual situation is caused, first and foremost, by loopholes found in the Constitution and the National Assembly’s standing orders. Both tools need to be reviewed after 55 years of constitutional work.

In this regard, Article 117 of the Constitution grants the National Assembly authority to determine the house’s standing orders on one hand; and on the other hand, Article 51 grants legislative power to HH the Amir and the National Assembly.

Besides the abovementioned constitutional articles, Article 72 states that, “The Amir issues, by decree, the regulations which are necessary for the execution of laws without amending or suspending such laws or making any exemption.”

“A law may prescribe a less formal instrument than a decree for the issuance of regulations that are necessary for its execution,” hence, it is very possible to issue a decree to amend the standing orders of the Parliament in order to eliminate the loopholes which could cripple work in both the Parliament and government, for instance, under the pretext of interpellation.

Interpellation is a rightful tool used on any minister, given that they are appointed members of the National Assembly; although it should be used appropriately to end the misery of utilizing this constitutional tool in a way that does not serve the general interest of the nation.

Based on this, it is very important to ensure that consultation on forming the Cabinet should not be about individuals who will take up ministerial portfolios. Instead, the consultation should be according to the principle of work in the coming period, which is to review the Constitution and fix parliamentary standing orders to have more discipline in the two vital wings of the State.

Parliamentary commitment is necessary in amending internal standing orders. This should be the objective of Parliament members who work in the interest of the nation, not those with suspicious agendas.

His Highness the Amir exercised this authority when he mended faults in the voting system in the past. This is after he issued the one-vote decree in response to the national desire to rectify populace representation in the Parliament.

In spite of what followed the issuance of the one-vote decree in terms of political rumble and attempts to destabilize the country, the decisive decree foiled such attempts. It is no longer a secret to anyone that the main objective of such attempts is to destabilize the country and this was connected to foreign countries which struggled to ‘transfer’ chaos to Gulf countries through Kuwait’s borders.

Today, Kuwait can be rescued from the predicament by engaging in partial constitutional review through amendment of the National Assembly’s standing orders, and perhaps, by implementing Article 174 regarding the amendment of the Constitution.

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

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