Enemies Of Constitution |
Kuwait Times - 16 August, 2012
Author: Dr Ahmad Al-Khateeb
This is how they managed to drag the Kuwaiti people into a confrontation with the constitutional court.
Ever since threats emerged for public demonstrations should the cabinet consult the constitutional court regarding the five constituencies system, the course of the battle has changed.
The battle now is not between a government that is against the constitution and people committed to it, but between the judiciary and the Kuwaiti people. It is as if the government has nothing to do with the miserable situation we’re living in whatsoever, and as if the constitutional court is the real problem and main cause for the deteriorating situation we live in.
Didn’t anyone expect that the government wouldn’t give up, and would seek revenge on the judiciary, which stopped their violating of the constitution? Aren’t we wise enough to realize that the judiciary’s uprising against violations of the constitution will come with severe consequences to the judiciary itself? Aren’t we wise enough to notice that when the Kuwaiti judiciary annulled unconstitutional articles in the demonstration law that the government went too far in disregarding everything that is constitutional or legal?
Do we really need to know the real reason why the government continues to insist that the judiciary doesn’t get full independence? Then why are we handing over the apex of our judicial system on a silver platter to its enemy?
Why, then, is the prime minister threatened if he commits to the constitutional court’s ruling? Isn’t this a clear provocation against the court? Isn’t this also exactly what the enemies of the constitution desire in order to limit the judiciary’s role?
Since when have the constituencies been the problem in electing true representatives of the nation? The problem is not in the constituencies’ type or number, but in the entire electoral process. Kuwait hasn’t seen free elections since the elections of the first parliament in 1963.
That intervention in the election process occurs in various shapes and forms is well known. They are allowed to happen because issuing penalties has been suspended by direct orders from the Interior Ministry, as stated by officials assigned to oversee the election process when they are asked to apply the law.
These violations happen with support from members of the government itself, who do not hesitate to finance these violations in order to feed their own political greed. Providing privileges, creating a group of MPs that facilitate services, tampering with electoral schedules and boxes; all types of violations are known.
During campaigns calling for changing the distribution of constituencies into five, this distribution was never seen as the solution for the election process’ problem. All this does is make bribes through money and services a lot harder to complete, compared to the 25-constituencies system.
The solution to eliminate violations is by creating an independent and neutral authority that oversees the election process entirely, and implement regulations pertaining to elections. Only then can the debate about the type and number of constituencies be useful.
The electoral system itself is not the problem, and the five-constituencies distribution is not the best solution. Instead of warning the prime minister against following the court’s order, the premier should be warned to take actions in order to stop the deterioration the country suffers from in all fields.
For all the reasons I’ve mentioned, the people never had a true majority of reform in the parliament, whether it be a pro-government majority, or being dissolved when it had an active minority.
Let’s stop and think for a moment, away from the artificial disturbance that attempts to obliterate the truth regarding the struggle between enemies of the constitutional and democratic system, and the people who are committed to their constitutional system.
Let’s talk about the plots made against the constitution since the death of its godfather, the late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah in 1965. It all started with attempts to topple the first cabinet that wasn’t in favor of certain corrupt individuals in the government. A new cabinet was then formed, with its first mission being the release of a series of regulations that limit public freedoms—before supervising the forgery of the 1967 elections.
On the other hand, let’s think about who’s behind dividing society through the ‘divide and conquer’ policy, leaving us battling with destructive tribal and sectarian struggles? Do you know who that is? Do you know who cost Kuwait its leading role in the region, to instead become an example of complete failure? Haven’t you noticed that we lost democracy a long time ago, and have been living in a fully controlled government system where the law and constitution don’t have values?
Is it true that the government was incapable of stopping this deterioration? Haven’t we learned the lesson from that day in the eighties when the government announced, after a meeting with the opposition (who were leading public protest against suspending the parliament), that: “Kuwaitis do not want democracy, but a national council with a majority of appointed members with no powers?
After all that, we express our rage against the judiciary’s uprising, instead of being proud of it and supporting its independence?
If we have a majority of MPs seeking reform, then that’s a good thing that has never happened before and a historical achievement. Through this, the will of the people is evident in the constitutional and democratic life in order to hold accountable the true people behind our miseries.
The time has come to refuse playing in the field of the enemies of the constitution, and move the battle to our own court – the court of defending the constitutional and democratic system through peaceful and democratic means.
I feel sorry for, yet optimistic about, the Kuwaiti young men and women who truly believe in reform. To them, I say that the Arab Spring managed to topple tyrants and paved the way for reform, but with a cost. On the other hand, the people of Kuwait have a tougher task, despite the fact that we already have the launch pad towards reform held within the 1962 constitution.
The obstacles we face lie in division of society which turned into a field of fighting sectors fueled by hate. This is a major problem that doesn’t have a quick solution, but can be overcome through hard work. Patience is required, but victory will come in the end because that is a condition for evolution. No one can stop the course of history, which is steadily escalating through what the scientific revolution provides from tools..
May God be with you, and may victory be yours — as long as dignity and eagerness for reform continues to keep you united. — Al-Jarida
By Dr Ahmad Al-Khateeb