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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Iqbal_Hadi_Zaidi
Full Name: Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
User since: 26/Aug/2008
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Again head on collision in Kuwait

Years back I have read in newspapers that at global level, Kuwait heads in road accidents which are sometime very fatal resulting in even deaths and I seriously doubt if the situation has changed since then but, at this point of time, I am not referring to road accidents but executive and legislative head on which is becoming a permanent feature for quite many years and despite many assurances from none but Prime Minister the atmosphere of homogeneity and tranquility between the two important pillars of the state could not be established.

Just on Sunday 8th May, 2011, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, Amir of Kuwait took oath from the newly inducted cabinet ministers headed by His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah. It may be mentioned that it is the 7th consecutive time for the same premier to form his cabinet since first time he took over as PM in 2006. As a matter of fact, his rule is punctuated with humps and bumps but one way or the other, Amir of Kuwait has posed, rather repose, blind trust in none but the PM who is his cousin as well. PM, like his predecessors, has tried different combinations in his cabinet right from the first day so that he can smoothly run the affairs. His previous six cabinets like the newly born one is not new or different in composition and blend rather it is following almost the same pattern as has always been to accommodate different entities. Undoubtedly in each cabinet there have been ministers drawn from the ruling royal Al Sabah family and their numbers have been changing from cabinet to cabinet but yet it can be said quite safely that each time it had minimum four from royal blood and in the present line up also there are four Al Sabahs.

Kuwait cabinet size is limited to 15 ministers including those from the ruling family. It is worth mentioning that Prime Minister has complete freedom to choose anyone he likes for whatever reason and to the best of my knowledge and belief whosoever is recommended by him is automatically approved by Amir who is the Head of State. Prime Minister does of course consult those who matter but still his own choice matters for inclusion in his cabinet. He normally chooses his rest of the cabinet, ministers excluding royals, from legislature, excelled academicians, men of entity, seasoned bureaucrats, prominent females, those belonging to tribes and shias etc hence it can be said with full confidence that Kuwaiti cabinet is very much reflective of  different segments of the society.

As per the constitution, the ministers are obliged to take oath of allegiance in national assembly and therefore yesterday Tuesday 10th May, 2011 Kuwait Parliament was in session under the leadership of its Speaker Jassim Al Kharafi and the new cabinet had to take oath in the house when the oath taking ceremony was disrupted as a few members of the parliament just walked out in protest to the induction of some of the ministers particularly those who are re-inducted including one from the ruling family. They viewed that the new cabinet is not truly representative in nature and will not be able to deliver what is required of it. They argued that Kuwait is passing through very critical moment at this point of time where only most suited can steer the country out of mud and put back on path to success. However, the Speaker did not take any notice of the walk out and instead carried on the proceedings to complete the oath taking ceremony.

Needless to mention, Kuwait is a very novel country where aristocracy and democracy go hand in hand which is rare to find somewhere else. Head of the State, followed by Crown Prince and Prime Minister are always from royal ruling family which very well proves that on one hand autocracy is very much deep rooted in the tiny oil exporting country whereas on the other hand it rightly champions in democracy as well. Kuwait holds general elections whereby each adult Kuwaiti, male or female, independently casts his / her vote in the favor of the candidate of personal choice which very well establishes the fact that it is a democratic country. Moreover, each parliament member enjoys an inborn right not only to monitor the working of different government machineries but also to grill the minister concerned if need be. There are many instances when honorable members of the assembly raised their eye brows in condemnation of the performance of some ministries and served notices to the concerned ministers to rectify the problems and improve upon accordingly. A few times it took very ugly situation and not one or two rather more ministers had been called to altar.

Surprisingly, legislative members did not limit to ministers rather they went far ahead and even moved motion against Prime Minister too asking him to reply right on the assembly floor as to how does he answer to the questions raised against him. Prime Minister did reply to each and every question asked for and at times dust did settle down alike but some time it took very ugly turn whereby the speaker had to resort to voting in favor of the Prime Minister or against and it was really very nerve breaking and suffocating both for the premier and assembly members but what could be done otherwise. The day dawned when assembly session was called and all 50 elected members of the parliament had to exercise their right to either uproot the prime minister or let him continue occupying the throne. As the good luck had it, when the votes were counted for, Prime Minister did survive by getting more votes in his favor than against.

Last time when again some legislative members initiated such like motion against the Prime Minister, and none could foresee as to who could be the winner this time but now the situation took a different turn resulting in that the premier along with his cabinet ministers tendered resignation before the Amir meaning by that rather than facing the grilling, PM opted for alternative route to just quit the throne instead. The Amir accepted the move but asked PM and his cabinet to keep on continuing till further orders. Political thinkers, legislative members, previous ministers and others had fancied that perhaps the Amir will not re-appoint the PM for 7th time but all failed in their fantasies since Amir reappointed the incumbent prime minister to work alike for next term also.

Summing up, I have no hesitation to remark that the new cabinet which is still in teething stage will have to face very tough time in the coming days and I cannot predict categorically as to what is in stores for the Prime Minister but yet it is very much evident and vividly clear that those members of the assembly which have sharpened and grinded their axes will not sit idle rather will hurl stones again as and when they get an opportune to hit. The sky is very much murky so far as Kuwait cabinet is concerned and I wish that instead of repeating again head on, it will be much appreciated if the two parties turn into one well knitted group where both can work judiciously for the welfare of the citizens who voted for dispelling love and understanding rather than enmity.

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With my honest and solemn prayers

Sincere Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait

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