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Will the new Kuwaiti government succeed in the truce?

The new government wants to end some pending files as soon as possible, including the required amendments to the public debt law, or to allow financial deficits to be covered through the general reserve or the reserve for future generations, which are files that do not have parliamentary or popular consensus.

37 days after Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled was assigned to form it, the new Kuwaiti government began its work on Wednesday after taking the oath before the Emir of the country, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, amid questions about the opposition’s position.

The third government of Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, whose formation decree was issued on Tuesday evening, included 4 new ministers, most notably the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice, Minister of State for Integrity Promotion Affairs Abdullah Al-Roumi, a former deputy for about 35 years and known for his good relations with various parliamentary blocs.

It also included a member of the municipal council and former parliamentary candidate Shaya Al-Shaya, who held the municipal and housing portfolios, and two new portfolios were created, one to enhance integrity and the other to communications and information technology, with the Ministry of Services portfolio being canceled.

On January 18, the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, issued an Amiri decree accepting the resignation of the second government of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, which was formed on December 14, 2020.

This came against the background of the support of 38 deputies in the interrogation presented by MPs Thamer Al-Sweit, Badr Al-Dhahoum and Khaled Al-Otaibi to the Prime Minister on the fifth of the same month.

The Kuwaiti National Assembly during a previous session (Al-Jazeera)

Government of appeasement

Observers described the new government as a calming government, and the local newspaper Al-Rai went in its Wednesday edition to say that it is “a government of last chance to achieve the required reforms and address all political, economic and social files.”

According to observers, the new formation carries a clear message to the opposition of the government’s desire for dialogue, in particular, and the new formation was empty of some ministers whom the opposition demanded to exclude during the last period.

The opposition within the Kuwaiti National Assembly did not make any comment regarding what was previously announced by MPs Musaed Al-Ardi and Osama Al-Munawer regarding their intention to question Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled immediately after the formation of the government.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Group of 16, a parliamentary bloc comprising 16 deputies, reiterated that its priorities are the same as those included in its statement published on 12 January, which are amending the electoral system and laws related to freedoms, “equipping” public offices, and national reconciliation. Preventing conflicts of interest, and amending the internal regulations of the National Assembly.

On the first of last February, Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Mubarak Al-Haris said that the meeting that took place between the Prime Minister and the members of the bloc ended with an agreement to form a representative government working group to approve the laws that were mentioned in the bloc’s statement in the first session of the parliament after the formation of the government.

Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled (European)

The position of the opposition

The bloc stated in its statement on Wednesday that its position on the new government depends on the position of the government itself on the national issues that are due and agreed upon, and that its activation of constitutional tools depends on that.

According to former deputy and minister Ahmed al-Mulaifi, the government formation overlooked some mistakes in previous governments, as it included some ministers with political experience and those who have a good relationship with the opposition within the parliament, and these can support the position of the prime minister and form a link between the executive authority and the opposition within the National Assembly.

Al-Melifi added to Al-Jazeera Net, “Hope is pinned on the ability of these ministers, by virtue of their political experience, in managing a dialogue, which would lead to a reduction in the intensity of the confrontation between the parliament and the government.”

And he indicated that the opposition is now required to return the government salute with the best of it, especially since all the issues raised can be resolved and reach a meeting point, provided that a calm and constructive dialogue is managed, especially in light of the conditions of the pandemic and its impact on Kuwait and the world, as well as the security conditions surrounding the region with the presence of a new American administration Developments that may bring the region into contact with various political and security crises.

Criticism and skepticism

In contrast to the optimistic view, the former Secretary-General of the Democratic Forum, Ali Al-Awadi, believes that the formation of the new government did not bring anything new except for changing some faces, with the continuation of the previous pattern of selection based on quotas without a clear program or vision.

Al-Awadi added to Al-Jazeera Net that the desire for calm was not significantly translated into the government formation, which went through long labor and witnessed the prime minister holding many meetings with various personalities, groups and political forces to bring about a state of general consensus.

He pointed out that the new government wants to end some pending files as soon as possible, including the required amendments to the public debt law or allowing financial deficits to be covered through the general reserve or the reserve for future generations, which are files that do not have parliamentary or popular consensus and will constitute a test of their relationship with the legislative authority during the stage. Near next.

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