Assembly representing the nation
The recent verdict by the Constitutional Court that ended in dissolution of the parliament in Kuwait has brought things to a conclusion for everyone, irrespective of whether they agree or not. Also, it once again gave an opportunity to those who claimed they were against the one vote system to comply with the verdict and make another choice. Now, they should accept the verdict and apologize to the Kuwaiti people because for months they carried on all kinds of debate, arguments and a campaign on the Twitter to push their point of view and claimed that the one vote system was not the best for Kuwait. Now, they are under an obligation to admit the opposite.
Some of those in the opposition cannot contest the elections because they are embroiled in court cases and will have to spend possibly years in prison or pay heavy penalties. Moreover, many of them who used to win under the four votes per voter system, cannot win now because no one would vote for them in their own district. There is no better excuse for them then to claim that this decision of the court was unconstitutional. I wonder what would seem the right thing for them – the system that the entire world follows for voting, or the four votes per voter one? I guess for them the choice is clear and they would oppose the single vote system. Now, in Kuwait, we have three classified groups. First are the people who supported the one vote system from the beginning either by becoming part of the election process as voters or candidates.
The second are those who found themselves in a state of uncertainty since they could not win and hence ended up joining the opposition. The third group comprises those who are facing court cases and cannot contest anyway whether a voter has one vote or ten. In the past, they depended on coalitions and exchange of votes between different groups. Now, the first two groups have announced their intention to participate in the coming parliamentary election which will be held under the one-vote system. The third surely cannot. Actually, this group tried to control the country through transforming political disagreements into destructive conflicts and using the youth to fuel unrest against the ruling system.
These days, thanks to the recent verdict, all of the above scenarios have become stories of the past. The stupid and ridiculous phrases like “Assembly representing a quarter of the nation” will no longer be valid or acceptable. I expect that the next election will throw up some new faces and a few old ones, too. We should not expect any major change, and possibly 30 to 40 percent of the faces would be new. Let us bear in mind that we are only a month away from the Election Day which should happen in the middle of Ramadan. Also, we should not expect any miracles either from this upcoming new parliament or any other one. Until this stage, I don’t think we are really serious about reforms in this country. And I am not talking of reforms in the way elections are conducted or MPs are elected. Reforms are about a desire to develop the country by making certain changes in the administrative laws and regulations.
We are a month away from a new chapter in the history of Kuwait and I really hope that the debate over the parliament comes to an end shortly. We need to review where we stand and what we really need and then set our priorities. We are seen as having fallen far behind when compared to many other countries due to an unstable parliament. It is a national concern and I hope the government will take extra care to review its legal measures to avoid any further dissolution’s. The parliament being dissolved for the third time would pose a threat to this country and also to the efficacy of the Assembly that represents the entire nation.
By Muna Al-Fuzai