Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Gulf tragedy

For once, a decent editorial by that paradigm of journalism, Gulf News. However, the stagnation, or regression, of Kuwaiti politics is a tragedy for the wider Gulf. Whenever someone voices support for democracy elsewhere in the region, the authorities can merely point to the example of Kuwait as an example of how democracy could be a step backwards from the autocratic systems prevalent elsewhere.

Gulf News, March 10: The ongoing political turmoil in Kuwait is disappointing as it will have a knock-on effect on the democratic process. If the various political groups fail to reach an amicable agreement, the rift would set the country back on many fronts.

Once again a hardline lawmaker has submitted a request to subject the prime minister to an inquiry, the third of its kind within a single week.

Islamist lawmaker Mohammad Hayef has accused Prime Minister Shaikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah of abdicating his responsibility by allowing the demolition of a couple of mosques built on illegal land.

Last week another request was submitted making out a case against Shaikh Nasser over allegations of mismanagement, breach of the constitution and failure to adopt appropriate economic policies.

The three requests for the prime minister to be quizzed in the space of a week is a first for a Kuw-aiti prime minister.

As it is, Shaikh Nasser's Cabinet has been under immense pressure since his appointment in 2006 with disputes in the parliament leading to the resignation of four of his previous Cabinets.

Such instability on the political scene is diverting attention from the real issues facing Kuwait. If the current imbroglio continues, there is a big likelihood that the parliament will be dissolved by the Emir.

Such a state of affairs would be most undesirable given that barely two months have elapsed since the new parliament was elected.

There is a responsibility by all those who are part of the political scene in Kuwait to support and enable the democratic process.

The endless cycle of bickering in parliament represents an abuse of the system.

It is in no way a constructive process that promises to find solutions to serious issues. It is high time this meaningless recrimination is brought to an end.

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