UNDOUBTEDLY, lack of election program and settling for personal promises and services led to parliamentary bankruptcy that Kuwait has never witnessed since the start of its parliamentary life.
This is especially true in the last three decades when control tools provided by the Constitution were transformed into scarecrows to threaten ministers and governments. Whenever the MP differs on a personal level with the minister or if the latter refuses to pass an illegal transaction, the MP will knock down the former with interpellation.
Once that happens, the agenda will quickly transform into a bargaining chip between ministers. In fact, the government insinuates it is attempting to hide a certain weakness whenever it wants to prevent the interpellation from realizing its objective — reforms.
Unfortunately, this objective — reforms — has not been achieved in all the interpellations witnessed by Abdullah Al-Salem Hall in the past three decades; whereas parliamentary intimidation had reached a point of paralyzing governments and preventing them from carrying out their projects.
Without any doubt, this kind of government paralysis has made the State incur billion dinars of losses, in addition to retrogression which rendered Kuwait at the tail in all aspects.
In reality, the interpellation as a constitutional tool is being used in well-established democratic arenas on major cases, far from settling personal scores at the expense of the country.
This is because the MP in democratic countries performs his role within the concept of serving the nation. His position is not considered a source of privileges at the expense of public fund or welfare of the nation.
Under such circumstances, interpellation is expected any time. When the slackness of an employee in the municipality affects the interests of one of the MPs, the latter jumps to grill the minister in charge. The same is true when another differs with the minister of commerce, health, electricity and water.
More astonishing is the fact that when officers in the interior and defense ministries are promoted and none of them has affiliation with this or that MP, a canned interpellation is tabled against the concerned minister.
Today, the new legislative term commences and its agenda includes several built-in interpellations; whereas the legislative workshop which was supposed to be prepared well during the long summer holiday will be stalled.
This means we will not witness any productive work from both the MPs and the government, because the latter will be busy making deals with MPs and dismissing ministers subjected to interpellations in a bid to fortify itself from the no-confidence vote while benefiting from the waste of time game as an excuse for not implementing the desired development projects.
In short, the condition of the Parliament will be similar to voluntary unemployment — the reality in most ministries which succumbed to parliamentary pressure that led to accumulation of unnecessary manpower.
This condition results in miserable reality which will prompt majority of citizens to ask: Until when will we live in a tensed atmosphere which cripples development and investment, let alone being oblivious to regional conditions and their negative repercussions; whereas our MPs are preoccupied with settling personal disputes and achieving personal gains at the expense of Kuwait?
The current situation makes us ask: Is it not time for Kuwait to get rid of rhetoric under the pretext of democracy and focus on development as it has become clear that the cost of fighting corruption is higher than corruption itself due to the skewed democracy practiced by parliamentarians?
Until when will governments be unable to perform their natural role due to fear of parliamentary questions as a squadron of employees and legal consultants camp to provide answers and look for the minutest detail to cover the loopholes? Is this the right democracy, which puts the country at the mercy of wicked parliamentarians’ personal interests?
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah – Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times