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Government between rock and a hard place

FROM today until March 17, the government will be hanging on the parliament’s bearings until the expiry of the decree to suspend the National Assembly sessions.

It is expected that the first session after the resumption of the parliament will focus on sanctioning the new government in order for it to be fully constitutional.

However, it seems that the path the new government is standing and walking on will be filled with obstacles, given that the MPs who previously supported the referral of “no-cooperation” letter against the prime minister are repeating the same thing, in addition to escalating and threatening them to question His Highness the Prime Minister and a number of ministers.

In light of this political escalation, the public asks a question that carries many concerns about the welfare of the country and the absence of any indications of a solution to bring an end to the worsening financial and economic crisis. The question is, “Suppose the 38 MPs who declared their opposition to His Highness the Prime Minister refused to endorse the new government, what will be the solution?”

Constitutionally, the Cabinet does not have many powers before it gets endorsed by the parliament. It will therefore be in the gray area, and will continue with its transitional or rather caretaker, role. This means it may continue to stay in the dark tunnel in which it currently is.

There is no doubt that the paralysis of the executive authority increases popular discontent due to the improvised measures announced by the current government, or the successive governments headed by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled since the COVID-19 outbreak.

For instance, Kuwait has gone back to square one with the partial curfew, and with total curfew looming in the horizon. On the other hand, curfews have been lifted in many countries, and life has started to return to normal, which led to a breakthrough in their economic situation, while our crisis worsens.

All this is the natural result of the executive authority’s inability to make realistic decisions and its failure to market itself, or adopt a series of laws that can help alleviate the severity of the crisis, especially the public debt. It seems the current parliament will not accept passing this law without receiving something huge in return, perhaps more of the “blanket amnesty” that the opposition MPs seek and choose to make as the priority of all priorities.

The current confusion indicates that the government’s bowl is lost because it did not take firm measures to end the suffering of the people of this country.

For this reason, it is today between “a rock” of being endorsed and “a hard place” of yielding to the demands of parliamentarians or doing nothing even though it has the ability to end this pain through decrees of necessity that begins with dissolving the parliament, and imposing laws that cushion the effects of the crisis and refreshes its effects towards recovery.

Nonetheless, because of the government’s laxity, the coming days will perhaps be uneasy and more confusing.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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