The com­ing par­lia­ment’s ten­ure

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS - By Dr Has­san Jouhar

Is it log­i­cal to judge the com­ing par­lia­ment and pre­dict its term in of­fice even be­fore can­di­date reg­is­tra­tion is over? Is it po­lit­i­cally rea­son­able to pre­judge the par­lia­ment even be­fore its for­ma­tion is clear? Will such analy­ses en­hance hopes of achiev­ing po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity or will they trig­ger more frus­tra­tions?

There are a num­ber of po­lit­i­cal in­di­ca­tors car­ry­ing cer­tain and clear mean­ings to ob­servers and those in­ter­ested in pub­lic con­cerns. Ob­jec­tive as­sess­ment of such in­di­ca­tors might lead to much op­ti­mism. To start with, the strange sud­den man­ner in dis­solv­ing the 2013 par­lia­ment might lead some par­ties to file cases at the con­sti­tu­tional court on grounds that what hap­pened was po­lit­i­cal fri­vol­ity and gov­ern­men­tal abuse to an­nul the leg­isla­tive power with­out any clear jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, which might con­fuse the en­tire po­lit­i­cal scene and take us all back to square one.

The sec­ond in­di­ca­tor lies in the fact that many of the for­mer boy­cotters rushed to run for the com­ing elec­tions amid ac­cu­sa­tions of break­ing their prom­ises and prin­ci­ples, es­pe­cially since they all called for boy­cotting the elec­tions af­ter the con­sti­tu­tional court passed its ver­dict. Ini­tial state­ments made by some of them are the same po­lit­i­cally and sec­tar­ian provoca­tive ones that had played on peo­ple’s emo­tions. This takes us back to bal­lot boxes in an at­mos­phere of sec­tar­i­an­ism and trib­al­ism at the ex­pense of na­tional and re­form calls and those mak­ing them.

The next par­lia­ment will most likely wit­ness the very same silly and the­atri­cal showoff at­tempts while ma­jor and more im­por­tant de­ci­sions and the cor­rupt leg­is­la­tions passed by the an­nulled par­lia­ment will be ne­glected and re­main ef­fec­tive to drain cit­i­zens’ bud­gets, limit their lib­er­ties and po­lit­i­cally in­tim­i­date them.

The third in­di­ca­tor lies in the best pos­si­ble sce­nario of a large num­ber of can­di­dates sup­ported by the an­gry pub­lic opin­ion win­ning par­lia­men­tary seats with in­ten­tions to mer­ci­lessly hold the govern­ment ac­count­able, namely the premier, whether Sheikh Jaber re­mains in of­fice or Sheikh Nasser AlMo­hammed re­turns to of­fice, ac­cord­ing to some leaks. The mere suc­cess of 25 mem­bers who had not been in the pre­vi­ous par­lia­ment would sug­gest it will not last long and get an­nulled by a court or­der or by dis­solv­ing it very early.

How­ever, if the new par­lia­ment is clear in shape and for­ma­tion to that of 2013, it will be po­lit­i­cally use­less and thus the govern­ment will ben­e­fit, be­cause law­mak­ers will be too busy with per­sonal is­sues and side con­flicts, while de­ci­sions re­lated to e-crimes, po­lit­i­cal sup­pres­sion, pre­cau­tion­ary de­ten­tion, se­cu­rity re­stric­tions, and in­creas­ing fuel and elec­tric­ity prices will surely re­main in ef­fect to com­plete the hor­ri­fy­ing eco­nomic re­form pack­age in­clud­ing in­creas­ing fees, cut­ting salaries and sell­ing some state as­sets in the com­ing pe­riod and over­whelm­ing pri­va­ti­za­tion plans.

The govern­ment will also ben­e­fit by in­volv­ing some boy­cotters in po­lit­i­cal life by temp­ta­tions of se­nior po­si­tions, while oth­ers will be­come part of the fu­tile po­lit­i­cal scene, and thus use up what­ever pub­lic sup­port they still have. The sit­u­a­tions re­main very bad.

— Trans­lated by Kuwait Times

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