Re­view the Con­sti­tu­tion … fix the reg­u­la­tions

Arab Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Ahmed Al-Jar­al­lah Email: ahmed@al­jar­al­ Fol­low me on: ahmedal­jar­al­

NO ONE in Kuwait wishes for lame con­sti­tu­tional es­tab­lish­ments that do not per­form their du­ties ef­fi­ciently, al­though there is a bit­ter fact proven by the res­ig­na­tion of the gov­ern­ment with re­gard to the po­lit­i­cal calm­ness which is cur­rently over­whelm­ing the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

At present, mem­bers of the Par­lia­ment can­not en­gage in bat­tles with min­is­ters be­cause the cur­rent cir­cum­stances pre­vent work ap­point­ments and pass­ing of trans­ac­tions for the sake of votes. This is the weak point of par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and they can­not bear its ex­po­sure for a long pe­riod, be­cause it equates to cut­ting off their po­lit­i­cal oxy­gen.

From here, His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Ha­mad Al-Sabah can pro­long the pe­riod of con­sul­ta­tions prior to form­ing the new gov­ern­ment in a man­ner that cor­re­sponds with the gen­eral na­tional di­rec­tion, not in ac­cor­dance with the in­ter­ests of par­lia­men­tar­i­ans.

In other words, con­sul­ta­tions can con­tinue for months, leav­ing the in­ter­nal front calm and every­one turns to per­form their du­ties in ac­cor­dance with the ac­tual re­quire­ments of de­vel­op­ment, not sink­ing into the swamp of rum­ble.

As it ap­pears, some par­lia­men­tar­i­ans have yet to com­pre­hend the essence of His High­ness the Amir’s mes­sage to the Na­tional As­sem­bly and the im­por­tance of ev­ery word in it due to the fact that some of them bran­dish in­ter­pel­la­tion even be­fore know­ing the min­is­ter in ques­tion.

Un­doubt­edly, this un­usual sit­u­a­tion is caused, first and fore­most, by loop­holes found in the Con­sti­tu­tion and the Na­tional As­sem­bly’s stand­ing or­ders. Both tools need to be re­viewed af­ter 55 years of con­sti­tu­tional work.

In this re­gard, Ar­ti­cle 117 of the Con­sti­tu­tion grants the Na­tional As­sem­bly au­thor­ity to de­ter­mine the house’s stand­ing or­ders on one hand; and on the other hand, Ar­ti­cle 51 grants leg­isla­tive power to HH the Amir

and the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

Be­sides the above­men­tioned con­sti­tu­tional ar­ti­cles, Ar­ti­cle 72 states that, “The Amir is­sues, by de­cree, the reg­u­la­tions which are nec­es­sary for the ex­e­cu­tion of laws with­out amend­ing or

sus­pend­ing such laws or mak­ing any ex­emp­tion.”

“A law may pre­scribe a less for­mal in­stru­ment than a de­cree for the is­suance of reg­u­la­tions that are nec­es­sary for its ex­e­cu­tion,” hence, it is very pos­si­ble to is­sue a de­cree to amend the stand­ing or­ders of the Par­lia­ment in order to elim­i­nate the loop­holes which could crip­ple work in both the Par­lia­ment and gov­ern­ment, for in­stance,

un­der the pre­text of in­ter­pel­la­tion.

In­ter­pel­la­tion is a right­ful tool used on any min­is­ter, given that they are ap­pointed mem­bers of the Na­tional As­sem­bly; al­though it should be used ap­pro­pri­ately to end the mis­ery of uti­liz­ing this con­sti­tu­tional tool in a way that does not serve the gen­eral in­ter­est of the na­tion.

Based on this, it is very im­por­tant to en­sure that con­sul­ta­tion on form­ing the Cab­i­net should not be about in­di­vid­u­als who will take up min­is­te­rial port­fo­lios. In­stead, the con­sul­ta­tion should be ac­cord­ing to the prin­ci­ple of work in the com­ing pe­riod, which is to re­view the Con­sti­tu­tion and fix par­lia­men­tary stand­ing or­ders to have more dis­ci­pline in the two vi­tal wings of the State.

Par­lia­men­tary com­mit­ment is nec­es­sary in amend­ing in­ter­nal stand­ing or­ders. This should be the ob­jec­tive of Par­lia­ment mem­bers who work in the in­ter­est of the na­tion, not those with sus­pi­cious agen­das.

His High­ness the Amir ex­er­cised this au­thor­ity when he mended faults in the vot­ing sys­tem in the past. This is af­ter he is­sued the one-vote de­cree in re­sponse to the na­tional de­sire to rec­tify pop­u­lace rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the Par­lia­ment.

In spite of what fol­lowed the is­suance of the one-vote de­cree in terms of po­lit­i­cal rum­ble and at­tempts to desta­bi­lize the coun­try, the de­ci­sive de­cree foiled such at­tempts. It is no longer a se­cret to any­one that the main ob­jec­tive of such at­tempts is to desta­bi­lize the coun­try and this was con­nected to for­eign coun­tries which strug­gled to ‘trans­fer’ chaos to Gulf coun­tries through Kuwait’s bor­ders.

Today, Kuwait can be res­cued from the predica­ment by en­gag­ing in par­tial con­sti­tu­tional re­view through amend­ment of the Na­tional As­sem­bly’s stand­ing or­ders, and per­haps, by im­ple­ment­ing Ar­ti­cle 174 re­gard­ing the amend­ment of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

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