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FOR half a century, the outcome of every general election was almost known before the announcement of the official results.
However, in the past three decades, vote-buying and tribal endorsements through the so-called “consultations” played a major role in determining the faces that would enter the Abdullah Al-Salem Hall.
This seems to have changed now, as all of Kuwait and the neighboring countries are observing the elections that will be held this Thursday. There are expectations that the change of faces in the next parliament will range between 40 and 60 percent.
These expected outcomes are caused by the absence of a number of personalities from the electoral battle either as a result of their certainty that they have failed to meet popular demands, or because they are certain that they will not achieve a large percentage of victory, as was the case previously after changing the voting system, preventing the transfer of votes, and the fierce war on the sale of consciences and purchase of electoral loyalties. This is in addition to the government’s strictness in combating “wasta”, not providing services selectively to candidates or MPs either through overseas medical treatment trips or job appointments that are in violation of the law, or turning a blind eye to violations that were publicly committed in the past period.
The elections this time differ in form and content because the leadership of today’s Kuwait is closely following up the affairs of the country and is not depending on the reports and opinions of advisors. They have knowledge of all the errors that were committed in the past, and the tricks of the political and financial influence. They are also keen to seek to pull the country out of the cocoon of confusion because of the poor outcomes of the previous elections, the failure of successive governments to stop circumventing the law, and their failure to perform their natural role in exercising their powers and instead leave it to the whims and interests of the MPs.
Furthermore, a limit was set by His Highness the Amir in his speech delivered by His Highness the Crown Prince on June 22 to better our choices of representatives so that the National Assembly does not return to its first course of quarrels and obstruction; otherwise there is a more difficult option, which is to suspend the parliament, something that has turned into a popular demand in recent years after major setbacks in the country.
The new government is well aware of how the executive decisions were cooked, and how corruption passed through legal forms, the people involved in it, and the benefits they reaped.
Therefore, when the decision was taken to eliminate corruption and ensure strict accountability, it represented the beginning of the surgical operations aimed at ridding Kuwait of many diseases.
Despite that, the government also realized that one hand cannot clap, and therefore the people must have a role in this matter so that they can choose their representatives who can serve them and serve the interests of the country, and devote themselves to legislation and oversight, not political blackmail.
Circuits from the ruling house and the decision-maker have conveyed that the current ruler will exercise his role through a ruling government, and not indulge in the game of personal interests or be subject to the circles of parliamentary influence.
For this reason, it is the first time that Kuwait will witness a leadership who follows up on every tiny and major issue, and performs his role through a capable and strong government. Above all that, there are ministers who are loyal to their work and their country, and are not afraid of any outcry against them.
But all this remains contingent upon the people choosing their representatives well. Hence, the upcoming parliament will be the other wing so that Kuwait will fly again with two effective executive and legislative authorities.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times