Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kuwait: Mischief...Grilling

By Ahmed al-Jarallah
This commentary was published in The Arab Times on 19/05/2011

The hysteria over the tense political situation and grilling requests has reached its peak, so the government acted appropriately when it used its constitutional card in dealing with the interpellation. This step has doused the tension caused by the outright interference in the jurisdiction of others and manipulation of the Constitution for selfish purposes.

Sometimes certain lawmakers claim the right to postpone grilling indefinitely, as Ahmad Al-Saadoun did in 1998, while at other times they support referral to the court, which Al-Saadoun also did in 2008. They regard the government’s use of the constitutional tool as disrespect for the Constitution, only if it is against their interests.

These lawmakers did not give the new government even a few days to perform its duties after the oath-taking. They announced the intention to grill HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah less than one hour after the swearing-in ceremony. Others took the same step against the Prime Minister a few days later, while many others have been threatening to grill some ministers thereafter. They have started their destructive actions through the mischievous political maneuvers, even if their actual motive has been exposed, as if they want to announce their objection to government institutions and deprive the new government of a chance to open files and serve the populace.

It is pathetic that political trouble-making is not limited to the inquests, because they have been blocking our ears with public threats. The action indicates political extinction, since the populace is against the troublesome minority. The lawmakers can only depend on their secretaries and a few helpless people whenever they call for demonstrations.

The complex political hysteria is not the only manifestation of the deteriorating political condition in the country. The lawmakers added physical assault when they transformed the Abdullah Al-Salem Hall into a fighting arena where children play and exchange blows every time they disagree. They have forgotten that they represent the public inside the chamber of democracy and dialogue where people are supposed to exchange opinions as part of the proper democratic practice - the basis of their election into the Parliament.

The current situation in Kuwait indicates danger. Some lawmakers see themselves as being above the law, especially since the government has pampered them. They feel they are in control, so the government should just take orders from them and implement whatever they want. They alone have the right to express their ideas and others should not respond.

Despite the seemingly hopeless situation, the government is determined to defend its rights by using the constitutional tools to rescue the country from the crisis-provoking lawmakers. Nevertheless, the executive still needs the cooperation of the National Assembly; hence, the need to encourage dialogue among lawmakers. If the previous governments only had the ability to stand firm by their decision, there would have been no resignations. The government should have defended its right to stop some lawmakers from playing dirty political games.

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