Arab Today, arab today elections in kuwait and the true effort needed
Last Updated : GMT 11:54:59
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Elections in Kuwait and the true effort needed

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today elections in kuwait and the true effort needed

Walid Choucair

Developments in the Arab Spring are entering the calculations of political groups in all Arab countries, just as they have influenced these groups’ stances, if even only partially, vis-à-vis the elections in Kuwait that took place on Saturday. The developments in Egypt and Tunisia have been seen by regime loyalists in Kuwait as a justification for behaving cautiously, to avoid seeing the country move toward the kind of destabilization that has swept in other Arab states. Meanwhile, ultra-opposition groups have gone so far as to apply the situation in these countries to Kuwait, as a part of electoral mobilization against the ruling regime. Some of them have cited the fall of regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen to derive legitimacy for their political opposition. This is unrealistic, however, due to the difference in the political situation in Kuwait compared to these other countries. Is the statement by Emir Sabah al-Ahmad three days ago, when he granted amnesty to those convicted several months ago of demeaning the head of state, in any way equal to the oppression that has been, and is continuing to be, dealt out to opposition figures in these countries, irrespective of the defects that Kuwait opposition figures complain about when it comes to the implementation of their country’s laws? Kuwait has a unique hereditary-parliamentary political system, and perhaps it is this that allows the country to absorb political crisis via the democratic game. This is what happened during the recent parliamentary elections, which created a new legislature – it was hoped that this body would be able to secure a stable political and legislative situation after more than two years of tension and stalemate, which approached a state of paralysis in terms of the state’s ability to function. The electoral turnout proved that the boycott, which prevailed during a previous round of elections for a legislature that was dissolved by order of the country’s Constitutional Court, was hardly a factor this time around. Islamist, tribal and liberal groups heeded the call by the opposition during elections at the beginning of the year. Kuwait, the first Gulf country to adopt a parliamentary election system, back in 1962, has seen its “wise men” repeat the slogan that “the biggest problem in Kuwait is that there is no problem.” The source of this sarcastic quip is that opposition members lack a clear political program in raising the kind of real issues faced by one of the world’s richest countries, and one of the most advanced in terms of social, education, health and housing services. Granting these services to citizens has turned into a type of “clientelism,” accompanied by waste and corruption. Some members of the opposition have covered their anger at being deprived of their share of these "beneficial" services by using overarching slogans that are too much for Kuwait’s social-political make-up to tolerate; these slogans ignore the pressing and essential problems, such as accountability for corrupt acts, and reining in public spending. Islamist members of the opposition have entertained themselves by issuing hard-line doctrinal laws that contradict the openness with which Kuwait has been characterized. This took place after they gained a majority in 2012; Parliament was then dissolved, and replaced by the previous legislature, based on the one-man one-vote law, compared to the earlier legislation that allowed each voter to vote for four candidates. Political stalemate then froze the legislation that would have dealt with profound development and reform problems in the structure of the state; in the struggle over power, the rhetoric of confrontation then won out. This allowed pro-regime loyalists to boast that the earlier, dissolved legislature was able to enact 28 laws and endorse 26 international agreements that the paralyzed legislature of 2012 was unable to act on. Another fundamental problem is that the country’s development plan assumes a growth rate of 7.5 percent, while non-oil revenues, assuming a rise in oil production, will reach 4.5 percent (based on a report by the Finance Ministry and the Planning Council). This will generate an accumulated budget in the state budget that is frightening: KD 414 billion by 2020-2021. This will lead to bleeding the state’s reserves and the fund for future generations, which was a pioneering step for Kuwait when the body was established. In a country whose Constitution stipulates that the state provide work for Kuwaitis, the number of public sector employees will grow to 310,000 people (amid complaints about their lack of productivity, and the dominance of illicit self-enrichment), or one-quarter of the population. The indications are that there is a need to secure jobs for 460,000 graduates. Kuwait is the world’s fifth-leading country in terms of spending on education, while it is 90th in terms of the level of education; these are samples of the depth of the country’s huge problems. If the new Parliament is able to produce, this assumes that there will be an emergency effort at the level of the rulers, or among the opposition, to keep pace with these problems, and the seriousness exhibited by both parties will be the determining factor in solving them. Some Kuwait academics, legal experts, and economists hint that confronting these problems will require, in political terms, an agreement to expand the basis of rule in favor of social groups that have emerged during the past period of economic prosperity. And perhaps the vague nature of the demands put forward has produced random political behavior, and successive dissolutions of the legislature. Any one of a number of things might be required: a second, upper house of the legislature; an increase in the number of seats in the 50-member Parliament; the direct election of the prime minister; contradictory laws should be updated; or the Constitution should be implemented by enacting a law that regulates the establishment of political parties. An all-around emergency effort should settle these issues, and it should be based on consensus. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent or reflect the editorial policy of Arabstoday.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today elections in kuwait and the true effort needed Arab Today, arab today elections in kuwait and the true effort needed

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today Top Yemen commander killed

GMT 09:55 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Top Yemen commander killed
Arab Today, arab today To probe sexual harassment claims

GMT 10:08 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

To probe sexual harassment claims

GMT 04:15 2013 Saturday ,28 September

Rohani's caution and Obama's about-face

GMT 04:37 2013 Saturday ,21 September

The Russian opportunity for Iranian flexibility

GMT 04:09 2013 Saturday ,14 September

The ironies of postponing a military strike against Syria

GMT 06:16 2013 Saturday ,31 August

The mistake of chemical weapons

GMT 05:02 2013 Monday ,19 August

Egypt, Syria, Russia and Saudi Arabia

GMT 07:37 2013 Saturday ,03 August

Elections in Kuwait and the true effort needed

GMT 07:59 2013 Saturday ,27 July

Sanctions on Hezbollah in the context of Iran
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today To hold social dialogue over secondary school

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

To hold social dialogue over secondary school
Arab Today, arab today 63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'

GMT 06:41 2017 Monday ,20 February

Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'
Arab Today, arab today Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 06:34 2017 Sunday ,19 February

Ahmed Fahmy stresses he did not ignore singing

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 12:22 2017 Monday ,20 February

Kanye West puts hijab-wearing model

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 05:15 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Omega 3 can reduce asthma cases

GMT 19:16 2017 Friday ,17 February

Aziz House ready to host the tourists

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:39 2017 Monday ,20 February

newest smartphone another winner for Huawei

GMT 16:08 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Shawsh reveals her collection "Jewelry of dreams"
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday