THE country is not a market for buying and selling; while sectarianism, tribalism and party affiliation take precedence over the country. You are either a Kuwaiti who puts patriotism above everything or not.
The kind of contention over personal and electoral interests is not different from what was the trend in the ancient slave market. This is a situation where an influential person has his own lawmakers, whereas a certain royal has protégés and lawmakers. It is the same way some people take cover under sects for parochial interests, while a tribe has its own foot soldiers fighting under the shadow of its power brokers. The country, as such, has become a replica of the battlefield wherein whoever intimidates more than others are the victors.
In democratic nations where the freedom of opinion and expression is more widespread than Kuwait, the influential people do not join hands with parliaments to intimidate the executive authority as it is done in our country. The government should stand on solidarity and united decision, not the one submissive to this lawmaker or pushing through illegitimate transactions. Any conscientious minister will face the stick of grilling and stream of parliamentary questions without the lawmaker considering the sanctity of national secrets, law and constitution; because what matters for him is the interest of the ‘remote control’ that he operates.
This is exactly what happened to the northern oil rigs whose blood has been spilled among influential people through their parliamentary tools. They utilized intimidation for failure to get a share of the cake from the project which will provide the country almost $100 billion and 20,000 job opportunities.
Due to inability of the government to protect its project, it fell under the feet of intimidation exactly the same way it went into comatose when defending the K-Dow project and incurred billions of dollar losses.
This is not the end of the road in the long series of abandoning reform and constitutional responsibilities. Several projects are engulfed with corruption through which official institutions are rendered frazzled, incapable of protecting themselves and their projects. This is conspicuous in the parliamentary dictatorship against ministers and anybody who attempt to defend the country through the worst form of dent.
The weakness, which surfaced in the authorities, threatened internal stability and peace from 2011 to 2013 when the power brokers sensed that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was striving to use wisdom and foresight in getting rid of tribal and sectarian divisions by fixing lapses in the Electoral Law and voting system. This brought about the one-vote decree which was met by destructive and chaotic attempts to resist.
Acts like defaming the judicial authority, sit-in opposite the Justice Palace, storming the National Assembly building and devastating State institutions are the reasons why the court verdicts were finalized to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s; as well as to reveal the false heroic claims aimed at deceiving some innocent youths just to serve their personal interests.
Ironically, someone was the first to escape from executing the court verdict. He is now enjoying the protection of the Muslim Brotherhood while he is raising their flag, the flags of their parties and the flag of the country ruled by them. He does so while he does not stand up to salute the flag of his own country or its national anthem, as he considers the former merely a piece of cloth and the latter is religiously prohibited.
Those who are boasting about their overseas tourism are actually escaping from legal penalties. Deceivingly, they portrayed themselves as defenders of the nation and public money, yet they were the most corrupt, using official institutions to expand their corruption to the extent that they made overseas treatment into one of their electoral keys. They squandered public money while their conscience was sleeping.
All other parliaments throughout the world witness constitutional questioning every day with the aim of implementing genuine reforms; away from blackmailing, stealing the States’ fortunes and devastating countries just because they are not the beneficiaries.
It is true that democracy, according to the Greek founding fathers some thousands of years ago, means the rule of the people. However, this rule has a controlling brain represented by the executive, legislative and judicial authorities; in addition to the fourth authority of popular monitoring represented by free media. If the legislative authority aims to cancel the role of its executive counterpart, the result is the rule of crowds; which means turning the State into a jungle. The duty of popular monitoring is not limited to accusations and insults.
Since the liberation of Kuwait, relations between the executive and legislative authorities have been lacking compromise due to overlapping interests. This is why the relationship witnessed series of crises which remain without solutions as we mentioned in the previous article.
Today, we witness the crisis of air conditioning units in schools and we will soon witness another crisis which might cover the previous one. The most recent crisis is the removal of Music and Fine Arts courses from the curriculum. We are waiting for a fresher story that will be under the spotlight for awhile. Handling such crises is limited to temporary cure, similar to painkillers. Solutions sometimes come in the form of provocation, seeking personal benefits or showing power.
A strong country means the rule of the government is distinguished by justice and strict decisions. A strong State cannot be terrified by a threat or a grilling request submitted by a lawmaker. The grilling threat is a prelude to strife between the beneficiaries of parliamentarians. The government must be strong and work according to the Kuwaiti proverb: “Do not steal and do not be afraid.”
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah – Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times