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STRANGE is the case of our Parliament members. Every time the government — any government — intends to reform the economic and financial situation of the country, it faces threats and interpellations.
MPs easily brandish challenge swords; whereas constitutionally, the two authorities — executive and legislative — are supposed to be the wings of the State.
It is as if the Parliament wants to maintain the status quo in terms of financial waste forever and put the blame on the government at the same time.
This dominant language in parliamentary discourse is caused by failure to emancipate itself from ballot box enticement and bribes, using public funds to increase votes and secure a parliamentary seat. This does not concur with democratic practices which seem in need of redefinition.
In other words, MPs need to be rehabilitated for them to comprehend the fact that the executive authority, more than any other authority, is aware of the real financial situation and future needs of the country. It needs their help in facing challenges, adding to its problems.
This cooperation is badly needed in order to pull the country out of the current economic stagnation and lack of financial returns from foreign investments, in addition to the fact that we have the ‘Kuwait 2035’ vision to transform the country into a global commercial and financial hub. Nobody knows how this aspiration will be realized with the dominant parliamentary blackmailing attitude.
In every country, there are laws governing the salary scale which cannot be violated by granting allowances and bonuses to a certain sector. However, in our country, every sector has its own set of allowances and salaries. This led to financial chaos such that the salaries item in the budget exceed every reasonable limit. All this is caused by MPs who use public funds to buy votes.
The strangest of all is that a country like Kuwait suffers from financial crisis due to global oil price decline, considering oil is the main source of revenue in this country. At the same time, it subsidizes foodstuff for citizens and spends about KD 400 million on fodder subsidy annually. This is part of the crisis in subsidizing commodities and services which costs the treasury billions of dinars every year.
Unfortunately, the executive authority, which is supposed to protect and improve the financial future and economy of the country, usually succumbs to the first voice of parliamentary blackmail. Actually, it continues the wastage of funds to appease parliamentarians illegally.
This unhealthy condition needs surgery even though the initial stages will be painful. It can be done by adopting examples of countries which dissolved their parliaments or suspend parliamentary work for a certain period. This step will restore political stability in a country perturbed by financial chaos and parliamentary blackmail.
Undoubtedly, representatives of the people come and go, and the State is the only one which bears responsibility in front of coming generations in terms of negligence and slackness.
As long as there is no radical remedy for this predicament, we will continue to go around the ring of dissolving the Parliament and heading to the ballot boxes after every few months. The government succumbs to political intimidation, so its program is presented but not implemented.
This will definitely encourage MPs to roar louder in front of the executive authority which is afraid of its own shadow.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah – Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times