Let us hold on to democracy

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I am unwilling to compromise my freedom of speech, action, and behavior in exchange for towering structures, extensive highways, or impressive hospitals. Surrendering our freedom of speech can lead us down a path where we become like animals headed for the slaughterhouse. A few years ago, a court ruling was issued and later upheld by the Court of Cassation, preventing the government from revoking a citizen’s passport, thus safeguarding their constitutional and human rights to travel and move freely. The government must heed the message from the Judicial Authority.

Whenever we witness governmental, parliamentary, or legislative failures, delays in developmental projects, or progress in sisterly Gulf countries, there are loud calls to abandon democracy and revert to the pre-1962 system, citing growing corruption that weakened the state, demeaned the people, hindered developmental projects, and left honest individuals disillusioned. Those advocating this view believe that sticking to democracy is not worth the sacrifices.

Unlike the majority, I am dissatisfied with the current form of the National Assembly and the somewhat questionable relationship between the Government and MPs. I believe that the Constitution needs amendment to enhance freedom. I do not dispute the idea that we may not be inherently democratic. However, the imperfect democracy we have ensures a minimum level of freedom, a luxury not found in many other countries. This democracy upholds justice, preserves people’s dignity, and guarantees a fair judiciary. Without democracy, any successor could oppress us, as some ancestors did. Despite its flaws, the current situation is preferable to an unjust dictatorship that is often uncontrollable.

At present, nothing is preventing the government from taking action, resolving disputes, addressing issues, boosting the economy, accelerating developmental projects, passing urgent bills, and combating corruption. Abandoning democracy will not lead to better conditions. The ongoing power struggles will persist and may intensify with more destructive consequences. Throughout history, the Al Sabah Family has been known for its benevolence. Most family members are not suspected of illegal wealth accumulation. The wealthy members are few and well-known.

We have seen the extravagant financial conditions of members from other ruling families, and this may have tempted some individuals to believe that achieving immense wealth, even illegally, is possible once democracy is discarded. Perhaps some people are unaware of or choose to overlook the fact that the Constitution, representing the agreement between the people and the ruling family, will become null and void if democracy disappears.

As a result, other official constitutions will vanish, and there will be no guarantee that laws will be enforced fairly and equally, as they are now. In the absence of democracy, security institutions will wield control, and their authority will extend without limits. Courts will no longer be a refuge for the people as they will be under security control. Perhaps we might gain material prosperity by abandoning democracy. We could have towering bridges, vast streets, resorts, theaters, impressive tourism ventures, schools, airports, hospitals, advanced sports facilities, festivals, and parties. However, there will also be the darkness of a dawn yet to come. Is this what we truly desire?

Oh, Sabah Family, oh, people of Kuwait, let us hold on to democracy, for there is no guarantee that the alternative will be better.

By Ahmad alsarraf

e-mail: [email protected]

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