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ARTICLE 50 of the Kuwait Constitution stipulates that, “The system of Government is based on the principle of separation of powers functioning in cooperation with each other in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. None of these powers may relinquish all or part of its competence specified in this Constitution.”
I chose to start with this article to highlight the extent of the political and administrative rift between the government and the National Assembly, and how the latter has encroached on the powers of the former, which, for three decades, has not been able to perform its duty to the fullest extent.
This is because it allowed the parliamentarians to interfere in the core of its work. The ministers even underestimated this text when they allowed the parliamentarians to decide what they should do.
This does not exist in any other country. It is in fact a strange situation that some successive governments have adopted, either because their boss was weak or tainted with errors or corruption due to which he was unable to confront them, or because the minister’s electoral and personal agenda differs from the program of the Council of Ministers, or because of the absence of solidarity.
Therefore, it was not objectionable for a parliamentarian or a parliamentary committee to request the presence of the minister and the university director and impose on them demands that contradict the Constitution, and for the minister to submit to them as if nothing had happened. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister did nothing, other than implement the “infamous” decision away from any financial, social and cultural considerations and losses in relation to the co-education system in Kuwait University.
Also, when the minister was asked to cancel his decision regarding medical scholarships in Egypt and Jordan and when he did not yield to the parliamentarians, the government forced him to resign. His successor then canceled that decision and reinstated scholarships to these two countries.
Undoubtedly, this indicates the fact that the Council of Ministers takes into account the concerns of the parliamentarians, and even a group of them, in order to provide support that did not satisfy some of the ministers or its head, or that it was infiltrated. Therefore, something that was not taken into account occurred.
Here is an interpellation awaiting the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Commerce and Industry accepted it, as he did not receive a group of parliamentarians due to which accountability was awaiting him.
In all of this, the game of deals began. This happened from the first moment the interpellation was announced. Today Kuwaitis must wait to see the birth of benefits for the parliamentarians, and the further weakness of the government, while the people lament their luck.
Regarding questionable certificates that were issued by Egypt or Jordan or Greece or the Philippines, or even the United States and some other countries, and the many scandals in this regard, announcements were issued by a number of Egyptian representatives during one of the sessions of the People’s Assembly about the discovery of the sale and forgery of certificates in medicine, engineering, and law. The same was announced by the Jordanian representatives.
However, this did not stop some of the parliamentarians who benefited electorally from this matter, and they pressed for the cancellation of the decision to prevent scholarships.
Here we can only say, “May Almighty Allah protect Kuwait from internal invaders when those with fake certificates become doctors, or supervise construction projects.”
What is even worse in this regard is when some parliamentarians pushed to force Sharia graduates to be appointed to the judiciary and public prosecution. There is no doubt that these people will become judges and prosecutors. This is one of the wonders that were invented in Kuwait.
In this regard, it must be said that there are parliamentarians who intend to change Kuwaiti social and cultural behavior. In doing so, they will surpass the Taliban and ISIS, as the government, which is supposed to be an independent executive authority, submits to them without the slightest resistance as if it were robbed of its will.
Just for historical purposes, there are ministers who did not agree to indulge in the game of exchanging interests, such as one of the ministers of Electricity and Water who refused to appoint an engineer whose certificates were questionable, or another who assumed political responsibility for a fire incident in a hospital room while others actually refused to assume this position to preserve their reputation. Unfortunately, they were punished politically and electorally. It was expected that the condition of the rest of the ministers would be like this, and that the Prime Minister would be able to take on the challenge.
However, all this did not happen because the majority of the ministers or their prime minister, irrespective of whether they were in the current government or some successive governments, did not fully understand the meaning of Article 50 of the Constitution, and so they gave up their powers in a bid to seek safety that did not come through. This is due to the fact that National Assemblies are known to operate on the principle of “give and take” even if that is at the expense of the people and the state. That is why Kuwait is experiencing this political confusion.
In some countries, the government was dismissed several times. In Italy, for example, 56 governments were formed within 30 years. In Jordan, parliaments were dissolved many times until the state system stabilized.
Therefore,we beg to ask – Why does Kuwait not benefit from the experiences of others, even if the National Assembly was dissolved 40 times, or the government was dismissed 60 times? Isn’t Kuwait worth the sacrifice? Or are people’s interests above all considerations, even if it comes at the expense of the nation’s fate?
We hope that the Prime Minister will re-read the lofty speech in the current session, and realize the messages contained between its lines, so that he will either lead or go.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
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