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Tuesday , November 24 2020

Have Kuwaitis learned?

Ahmad-jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

THE history of Kuwait’s Parliament will record the 15th legislative term as the worst Parliament so far with the lowest grades of performances. It was characterized with deep corruption, abuse of power and preference of personal interests over the national interest.

There is no doubt that these aforementioned traits resulted in a major upheaval in the popular mood against the candidates who failed to fulfill the aspirations of their constituents during their four-year presence in the Parliament.

Over the last six decades, the National Assembly has never witnessed 32 interpellations that can be comfortably categorized as futile.

Rather, they led to more suspicious deals between parliamentarians and the government that proved, through conclusive evidence, the absence of a clear vision to activate the work of the executive authority.

A good testimony to this is how the COVID-19 pandemic was locally handled amid confusion in making decisions and missed opportunities at all levels. Despite the clean hand of His Highness the Prime Minister, he appeared not to be up to the task entrusted to him.

This image made the ill-mentioned Parliament overpower the ministers, and impose an agenda of personal interests on them, either in terms of the Public Debt Law, the damages of which resulting from its non-approval due to the government’s inability to impose it with sound argument and concrete evidence are starting to become evident, or in terms of the stimulus financial package to cushion the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis which impacted all aspects of life, most notably, the economic aspect in the private sector.

It is worth mentioning that the problem related to the private sector’s economic aspect is one of the many problems that made the past four years unproductive for Kuwait, and became the main factor for it to lag behind in the region.

From today, there is a different reading of the voters who were burned by the fire of ignoring their votes, without paying attention to their pains and problems. We therefore saw, for example, the coup against by-elections, as it is the first time tribesmen rose up against the declared candidates who were chosen by consultations.

Indeed, one of the surprises that Kuwait may witness in the upcoming elections is that those who buy votes will realize that those who sold their votes did not vote them. The same applies to those who used to tighten sectarian, regional and tribal nerves, because these people have exhausted all their arguments, and Kuwaitis no longer cast their attention on an outdated speech.

All this will undoubtedly lead to a major change in the faces, personalities and political rhetoric that we will witness after Dec 5. The MPs who will enter the Parliament will not have a blank check to spend on their personal interests instead of paying attention to popular demands.

Yes, the upcoming elections will be different by all standards and will represent an opportunity for Kuwaitis to learn a bitter lesson from the great dissatisfaction with the parliamentary practice. They will be thinking, for example, about how reasonable it is that the representatives present 5,436 parliamentary questions and they all end up to nothing but increase in the level of corruption and weakness of the government, as well as the trend of wasta (influence) and deals.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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