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Kuwait’s Political Instability

Kuwait’s Political Instability

Al Qabas, Kuwait, January 5

I think a large part of our problems in Kuwait stems from our political instability and lack of accountability. The truth is that Kuwait is neither a dictatorship nor a democracy. If we were a functioning democracy as we claim to be, then development plans would not have been delayed to the extent they have. Years ago, the government announced a development plan, and it turned out, as usual, that it was neither correct nor sound on paper. The plan proposed allocating an amount of 10 billion dinars to speed up the implementation of construction projects, such as medical cities, low-cost homes, new roads, warehouses, and more. It also included a proposal to privatize some public utility companies. But like with many other ambitious projects in Kuwait, the devil proved to be in the details. No one in the government had a clear execution plan. I still remember the statement made by former minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahd, who claimed that 25% of the development plan had been completed. A few days later, the minister of works came out and announced that the rate stood at 27%. Then, a member of parliament spoke to the public and admitted that actually zero progress had been made on the plan. These kinds of inconsistencies, which at best represent the government’s ineptitude and at worst represent its deceit, are exactly what cause most of the problems in our society. Last week, the newly elected cabinet appointed Member of Parliament Abdulwahab Al-Rasheed as minister of finance. Only time will tell if the minister finally succeeds in devising and delivering on a development plan, or whether he’ll just follow the footsteps of his predecessors. –Mamdouh Al-Muhaini (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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