Monday, May 23, 2011

Kuwait's Dahes, Ghabrea'a: Vexatious Politics

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
This Op-Ed was published in The Arab Times on 23/05/2011

The recent incident proved the determination of a parliamentarian minority to deprive the majority of their right to express their opinion and to impose their personal agenda on the whole country. It is just another Dahes and Al-Ghabra’a battle — a bloody pre-Islamic war that erupted between the Arab tribes as a result of tribal conflicts over pastures and water sources in the Arabian Desert. This time, the battle took place inside the National Assembly, pushing us back to the pre-Islamic era to the detriment of the interests of the country and its people. The grilling ‘knights’, who have failed in their bid to oust HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah through the weak parliamentary inquests, have taken to the streets and started practicing political sadism that no democracy in the world has ever seen before.

What gives a group whose members do not exceed the number of fingers on two hands the right to demand, on behalf of the Kuwaiti people, the ouster of the prime minister and the Parliament speaker? Have you asked for the opinion of all Kuwaitis in this matter? Can you deny the fact that the parliamentary elections have brought the majority of MPs who oppose your ways?

Even if we assume that this majority is on the wrong track, there is still a constitutional institute that is functioning. You have been trying to outdo each other in submitting vexatious interpellations to the Secretariat-General of the Parliament. The legislature will decide on the issue, not the streets. Within the institution, you will be able to topple Sheikh Nasser or Jassem Al-Khorafi, albeit through legitimate and constitutional means, not political hooliganism. You have been acting like tax collectors who impose taxes on the State by inciting a few individuals to rebel against the regime and claiming to represent the people.

We have no intention to turn the authorities into the enemies of this parliamentary group. However, we call on the authorities to let the group scream, in the name of democratic freedom, as much as they desire; after all, no one will respond to them. Maybe they think they will be able to impose their agenda on the State if they replicate the incidents in Egypt and Tunisia. They must carefully study what happened in Yemen, in which the majority did not allow the minority to seize power except through the Constitution. We should take into consideration that the majority of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is different from the minority of MP Musallam Al-Barrak and his group.

People have said it repeatedly: they do not want to be ruled by a parliamentarian minority that strains relations and instigates tension. This minority will wreak havoc in the whole country if we allow it to have its own way. We do not want to be ruled by the dictators who raise empty slogans — similar to the ruling methods of Gaddafi and Al-Assad. The difference is that here, our MPs will transform ministries into arenas for corruption, ‘wasta’ (influence), electoral gains and under-the-table deals, as they have been doing for the last years.

Kuwait will not go back to the Dahes and Al-Ghabra’a era. We are not in a race between two horses, the winner of which will see its tribe protecting the convoy of Al-Nouman (an ancient Arab ruler). We will not tolerate a trick to weaken the State and incite chaos like what happened in the 40 years of war ignited by the hoofs of two horses — the cause of the Dahes and Al-Ghabra’a War). We will not be led to fight for four decades over another Al-Basous she-camel — the cause of another Arab war in the pre-Islamic era. No, we will not be pushed down that road for the sake of someone who wants to put in his resume that he was the first person to ouster a prime minister through vexatious grilling or a very weak demonstration. We are racing against time to help Kuwait out of the deliberate delay in its development journey due to the stubbornness of some MPs, who enjoy blackmailing both the government and the voters. When Sheikh Nasser imposed the rule of law on everyone, they were annoyed because their real intentions were exposed to the people.

Unfortunately, a limited number of MPs have committed political sins that destroyed the State through their interpretation of the Constitution according to their desires. They have been trying to impose their point of view on the majority, as if we are facing a new political Khawarij — a group that opposed the Islamic state in the early stages of the Islamic era. The members of the new group seem keen on imitating their ancient counterparts, who branded whoever was against their bizarre stances as an infidel. These MPs have forgotten that their voices are futile, because the people are now aware of their actual motives. They will not succeed as long as Sheikh Nasser continues to stand firm by his decision and knows how to deal with the grilling hysteria of those on the brink of political bankruptcy.

Ahmed Al-Jarallah is the editor-in-chief of the Arab Times

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