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UNDOUBTEDLY, the call made by the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim at the General Assembly of the 143rd Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference (IPU) is the right path to take.
He stressed the need to “be bold in dealing with the challenges that could affect the essence of the democratic system away from the sensitivity of the slogan and symbol”. However, doesn’t this need the one who is convinced of it to look at the reality of his country and the imbalances it suffers from that would require such boldness, and work towards fixing them?
The majority of the countries participating in this conference amended their constitutions in accordance with the requirements of the social and political development and changes, and worked on filling several gaps that appeared during the practices for decades.
However, Kuwait alone reached the point of deifying the constitution, and considering it sacred and untouchable, which caused all the imbalances it continues to endure since the 1964 crisis until today. This will undoubtedly increase in the coming days as long as the root of the problem still exists.
In those countries, there is no such thing as immunization of a minister or prime minister. No interpellations, for example, get postponed until further notice. In fact, in Britain there is almost weekly grilling of the prime minister and members of the Cabinet. There are no under-the-table deals to undermine this important reform tool.
Perhaps Speaker Al-Ghanim forgot that he is one of the senior officials in the state and is directly concerned with democratic reform, by virtue of his position, which requires him to seek more liberties, revitalize the economy, and amend laws that made the country an isolated peninsula that repelled all kinds of investments.
According to Al-Ghanim, “The apotheosis of any regime, even if it bears a democratic form, is the first obstacle to revitalizing democracy and addressing its imbalances”. Definitely, this needs to be interpreted into internal reform, as we cannot diagnose the disease while refraining from administering the cure for it which is in our hands.
The Speaker said, “Democracy is a means, not an end. It must be used in a correct manner to fix the defect that Kuwait suffers from”.
There is an Italian proverb – “Where there is a will, there is a way”. However, it seems that the will does not exist to get out of the tunnel in which we have been floundering for nearly 60 years, because there are beneficiaries of this anomaly.
These beneficiaries are the same ones who stood against the suspension of some articles of the Constitution in 1986, when the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad had succeeded in forming the National Council and dissolving the National Assembly in preparation for the renewal of the constitutional text. Had it not been for the Iraqi invasion, Kuwait might have been dozen times better now, and even preceded the neighboring countries in terms of development and openness.
Currently, Kuwait not only needs to amend and develop the Constitution, but it is in dire need of amending dozens of laws that have caused many obstacles especially to development, and made its blood scatter between the beneficiaries and the reformers.
This reality opened the ground for the consolidation of tribalism, sectarianism and regionalism in its worst forms. We saw its result in disrupting the National Assembly for more than a year due to the parliamentary overreach of the powers of the government, which was very weak in the face of the parliament.
All this can be avoided if there is pure will to liberate the country from restrictions through amending the constitution. This depends on the Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim, if he seeks to secure a parliamentary majority for this matter.
Will Al-Ghanim implement in Kuwait what he said in Madrid?
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times