The most re­cent is­sue

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS - By Ali Mah­moud Kha­jah

Kuwait will be fac­ing many chal­lenges in the few com­ing years re­gard­less if the com­ing par­lia­ment will re­main in of­fice for four years or less. Lo­cally, Kuwait is likely to be­come in­ca­pable of pay­ing salaries out of its in­come soon. There are also pos­si­ble ed­u­ca­tional prob­lems if ex­pa­tri­ate teach­ers refuse to work in Kuwait. The health min­istry was dev­as­tated by Ali AlObaidi, while Kuwaiti sports ac­tiv­i­ties’ sus­pen­sion de­prives our youth from rep­re­sent­ing their coun­try, in ad­di­tion to many other con­cerns.

In­ter­na­tion­ally, the world is very close to find­ing al­ter­na­tives to oil pro­duced by re­gional coun­tries, the Mid­dle East is rapidly chang­ing in view of ac­cel­er­at­ing re­gional con­flicts, and the elec­tion of the new US pres­i­dent may also have an impact on the en­tire world.

Amidst such a vor­tex of prob­lems and chal­lenges, I find it un­rea­son­able and un­ac­cept­able that most par­lia­men­tary elec­tion can­di­dates’ cam­paign pro­grams re­volve around the most re­cent is­sue viewed by the pre­vi­ous par­lia­ment - which is the in­crease of petrol prices that is be­ing used by them all, in­clud­ing those who ap­proved it in the pre­vi­ous par­lia­ment and are now against it only for elec­toral rea­sons. Keep­ing talk­ing about this is­sue only im­plies how shal­low and vi­sion­less many can­di­dates are, which is surely a very danger­ous in­di­ca­tor about how things might be run in the future if these can­di­dates make it to the next par­lia­ment.

A good fol­lower and ob­server of the last five par­lia­ments or more would eas­ily no­tice peo­ple’s choices in sub­se­quent elec­tions were made ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent is­sue dis­cussed by the pre­vi­ous par­lia­ment. For in­stance, the 2006 par­lia­ment was elected upon can­di­dates’ adop­tion of calls to fol­low the five-con­stituency elec­toral sys­tem. Elected MPs ap­proved the bill and then started fight­ing and frag­ment­ing over it.

In the 2008 par­lia­ment, se­lec­tion was made upon adop­tion of calls to in­crease pay­rolls, and as soon as this was ap­proved, we went into the Dow con­flict, upon which the fol­low­ing se­lec­tion was made. In the first an­nulled par­lia­ment of 2012, se­lec­tion was made based on those in fa­vor of dis­miss­ing the for­mer PM and an un­prece­dented ma­jor­ity was formed, but was very ran­dom, blun­der­ing and lost, which was re­vealed to ev­ery­body within only four months.

Nowa­days, we ei­ther do the same thing again and try to fol­low the same path with hopes of achiev­ing dif­fer­ent re­sults, or look for other more se­ri­ous op­tions with more depth that can be wor­thy of true par­lia­men­tary mem­ber­ship that is ca­pa­ble of fac­ing the cur­rent chal­lenges and cir­cum­stances threat­en­ing us. But chang­ing faces alone is not enough un­less it is ac­com­pa­nied with new se­ri­ous vi­sions and real re­flec­tions of ideas that would push the coun­try for­ward, be­cause this is how coun­tries pros­per.

Can­di­date Waleed Al-Tabtabaei held his first elec­toral sem­i­nar un­der the slo­gan ‘Ev­ery­thing Ex­cept the Holy Mosque!’, a topic cho­sen in view of press head­lines on the pre­vi­ous day. Three other can­di­dates took part in the sem­i­nar. That sem­i­nar and its ti­tle prove the lack of vi­sion they suf­fer from, be­cause the fact its ti­tle was based on a news story pub­lished a day ear­lier makes us won­der: What if the story was not pub­lished then?!

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