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HH the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
HH the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

‘I CANNOT REMAIN SILENT’

Amir dissolves Assembly, suspends some articles of constitution pending revision

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ordered dissolving the National Assembly and suspending some articles of the constitution for no more than four years, pending “revision of the democratic process in its entirety”. In an address to the nation on Friday evening, he said “The State of Kuwait has undergone challenging times that left repercussions on all aspects of life and created negative reality”.

“We, as entrusted with looking after this state and its people, had to offer counseling and guidance once and again in order to get out of these conditions with the least possible losses. Unfortunately, we have faced some unimaginable, unbearable difficulties and impediments. Some people attempted resolutely to shut down every way out of the bitter reality. We were left with no option other than taking this hard decision to rescue the country and protect its higher national interests and resources of the nation,” HH the Amir explained.

HH the Amir underscored that a democratic rule requires a great deal of organization of state authorities and distribution of roles according to a clear vision for realizing the national objectives. “This vision makes it inevitable for the legislative and executive authorities to work within specific controls and parameters,” he said. Affirming that those controls can never be breached or transgressed, HH the Amir said the parameters of the constitution govern the behavior of all powers and authorities of the state.

“We have noticed, a few days ago, some behavior and actions that ran counter to the stable rules of the constitution,” HH the Amir said, in reference to some MPs who threatened and vowed to grill a minister who may be reinstated to their portfolio. He also referred to some MPs who objected to the nomination of ministers to some portfolios, neglecting that the selection of a prime minister or Cabinet members is a constitutional right of the head of state exclusively.

“Transgressing the constitution reached a point that could never be tolerated as it risked undermining constitutional values and democratic principles,” HH the Amir said, noting that those principles had been accepted by everyone for a long time. “Some people went as far as interfering into the powers of the Amir, including his right to select his crown prince,” he said, reminding that this is clearly his own right exclusively. HH the Amir added that once a crown prince is handpicked by the Amir, the other authorities of state can play their roles as specified by the constitution.

HH the Amir referred to the sources of national wealth which must not be neglected or used in a way that depletes them and disrupts the interests of the nation through proposals that waste public money and do not achieve the public interest.

HH the Amir added that these proposals should serve the national economy within the framework of the development plan. The unhealthy atmosphere Kuwait faced in the past years encouraged the spread of corruption that affected most of the state’s facilities, and rather unfortunately reached economic and security institutions, HH the Amir said.

HH the Amir elaborated that corruption even affected justice, which is the resort of people to get their rights and freedom, adding that “we are very sure that the judiciary will purify itself by its sincere men and the help of Allah”. All people should know that no one is above law, and those who illegally got some public funds will be punished whatever their position is, he noted.

“I will not allow by no means that democracy will be exploited to destroy the state as the interest of Kuwaitis, which are above all, is honesty that we should protect and preserve,” HH the Amir stressed. HH the Amir also referred to the behavior of some governments that overlooked grave violations due to parliamentary pressure or unsuccessful efforts that have negative impacts on public interest, vowing that he would not allow such violations under any circumstances.

HH the Amir underlined the utmost importance of security, saying “we will pay much attention to achieve this goal by re-considering the laws of social security”. He pointed to the nationality file and those who illegally obtained Kuwaiti citizenship. HH the Amir said that the state would work on two main pillars — security and judiciary — noting that such negative phenomena will not remain and will be re-considered by reliable people, in line with a well-studied plan. HH the Amir frankly said respecting security men is part of the respect of the regime, affirming that “I will not allow by no means to touch their prestige and respect while performing their official duties.”

HH the Amir noted that the Kuwaiti people, the founders of democracy, were keen to find a constitution that would serve the interests of the nation and protect the rights and freedoms of the people, and “we did not find in past discussions in the Constituent Assembly or in the councils that followed anything but the pinnacle of respect in their speech, in addition to the sophisticated practices of the constitutional means available to them in the right place or at the right time. But today, we witnessed the opposite of all that; there is a severe misuse of these means and in the style of speech that does not match the customs and traditions of Kuwaiti people”.

“Therefore, Abdullah Al-Salem Hall, instead of being a place for practicing true and sound democracy, has become a stage for all that is unaccustomed and undesirable or acceptable in terms of words. Such practices and expressions did not stop at this point, but rather went beyond the use of the constitutional right to interrogate at every opportunity small or big, which wasted the true value of this right as a sophisticated tool for accountability and legislation,” HH the Amir said.

“The constitution did not approve such tool of interrogation, but rather it was stipulated to be a means of reform and correcting any distortions, if any. Otherwise, this fine tool lost its value and the reasons for its determination. It is our duty to declare our rejection of all these practices and develop a solution to them in a way that ends them so that Abdullah Al-Salem Hall goes back to its place as a symbol of democracy, which appreciates and respects elders and listens to other points of view, not being an arena for unacceptable verbal battles or unconstitutional practices that are outside the scope of logic and reason,” HH the Amir added.

HH the Amir said the turmoil in the country’s political scene has reached a stage that “I cannot remain silent towards it, as it is our duty to take all necessary measures aimed to achieve the highest interest of the country”. “I would like to refer to what happened over the past days. After naming the premier and tasking him to form a new government, communication was conducted with some MPs to ensure the participation of some of them in forming the government in abidance by article 56 of the constitution,” he said.

“Despite this, and in order to make time available to form the government, we issued decree no. 67 of 2024 adjourning the meetings of the National Assembly of the 18th legislative term to Tuesday, May 14, in implementation of article 106 of the constitution to start a new phase of positive cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities and joint action to achieve desired reform, and to meet aspirations and hopes of citizens hoping for a better and brighter future,” HH the Amir elaborated.

However, all these attempts failed due to repercussions that led to the incompletion of forming the government in light of some acts of MPs towards forming the government that includes conditions and dedications, HH the Amir said. The constitution, as a progressive document that responds to the requirements and changes of life, finds its outlet through harmony with the social, political, economic, legal and moral conditions in society, he said. The constitution must be compatible with the new conditions to absorb them to be its outlet in order to continue as a tool that governs the reality of society and its formations, he stated.

HH the Amir added if all outlets are closed, the constitution would not be able to carry out its desired role that people and its leadership want. “In this case, it becomes necessary for us to intervene to correct the path, address distortions and fill shortcomings revealed by the practical application of the provisions of the constitution over the past 62 years without amendment, especially the historic path from which the Kuwaiti constitution derived its articles and provisions were either totally canceled or had several amendments to respond to changes,” he noted.

The Kuwaiti constitution allowed amendments and its provisions were reconsidered after five years of implementation, and this indicates the prudence of the members of the Constituent Assembly, he noted. “Therefore, we decided to dissolve the National Assembly and suspend some constitutional articles for no more than four years,” HH the Amir explained. “During this period, all aspects of the democratic process will be studied and the outcomes of the study will be tabled to us for revision. We then will take whatever decisions we might deem appropriate,” he added.

HH the Amir paid tribute to the founding fathers who laid the foundations of amity and fraternity among people from all walks of life, from civil servants to tradesmen, in the service of the homeland. He called on the new generation to follow the tradition of their forefathers in acting and behaving decently to restore harmony among all segments of the society. HH the Amir prayed to Allah, the Almighty, to help all sons of Kuwait to work for the prosperity and welfare of the dear homeland.

HH the Amir later issued an Amiri decree to dissolve the National Assembly and suspend some articles of the constitution for a period not exceeding four years. The Amiri order stated: Based on the country’s best interests, we decree the following: Article One: Dissolving the National Assembly. Article Two: Suspending articles 51, 56 (paragraphs two and three), 71 (paragraph two), 79, 107, 174 and 181 of the constitution for a period not exceeding four years, during which the democratic practice in the country will be reviewed and the findings of a study will be referred to us to take what we deem appropriate.

Article Three: The Amir and the Council of Ministers shall assume the powers granted to the National Assembly. Article Four: Laws are issued by draft decree. Article Five: The Prime Minister and ministers, each within his jurisdiction, must implement this order, and it shall come into effect once published in the official gazette. – KUNA

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