Reforming Kuwait’s Political System
The Kuwait National Assembly building (Cajetan Barretto/Flickr)

Reforming Kuwait’s Political System

Al Rai, Kuwait, October 23

Kuwait wasted 50 years of its existence on bitter political battles and ineptitude. During the ‘70s, Kuwait served as a role model to other countries. Our political system was an example cited by scholars both inside and outside the Arab world. Our leadership model was unparalleled. But then, things took a significant downturn. Our commitment to public service disappeared due to deplorable political battles. Corruption plagues our government offices. Cronyism took over our society. Today, if we’re still serious about seeing our country flourish, we must find a miraculous way to change our ways. We must rid ourselves of the destructive culture that has been entrenched in our society for several decades. We must innovate and move away from our dependence on oil, which is seeing a global decline in significance. We must invest in rebuilding our political system. We must establish basic credentials that all ministers and legislators must meet in order to serve in office, as is the case with advanced Western parliaments. We must ensure that doctors, economists, accountants, lawyers and academics enter our political system – and bring their expertise to the table. Ultimately, the quality of our legislative process will be determined by the quality of our officials in office and the people surrounding and advising them. Sadly, years of neglect have made us lose our greatness in the world. World powers no longer pay attention to our presence or existence. If we look at international officials conducting visits to the region, it becomes immediately apparent that most of them visit our neighboring countries, but not Kuwait. The number of investments made in Kuwait by international companies has been on the decline. Recently, an ambassador of a major country told me that they are no longer interested in working in Kuwait given the state of corruption. These sentiments cannot be ignored. If we want to see a future for Kuwait, we must act fast. – Sami Al-Nisf (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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