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Political turmoil leads to loss of confidence in reform: Al-Shall

KUWAIT: The ongoing political turmoil in Kuwait, highlighted by repeated standoffs between the legislative and executive authorities, is causing the public to lose confidence in reform and state institutions, which poses critical impediments to national security, Al-Shall report reads. “By May 12, 2022, 514 days have passed since the last elected National Assembly. During this time, three governments formed and resigned, with the latest resignation on April 5, 2022.

The total number of working days for three governments was 383 days, of which 131 days for handling urgent matters. In other words, there was one day dedicated to urgent matters for every 2.9 working days, for working with supposedly assuming full powers. In fact, the other days were lost in attempts to resolve disputes. This is a chronic phenomenon which, we can almost ascertain, does not occur in normal conditions for any country in the world or at a time when the world and the region are troubled. Analysts, instead, have assimilated these conditions to the era before the turmoil of the 1980s or the era that preceded the first and second world wars,” Al-Shall said in its weekly report released Sunday.

“We believe three possible reasons explain the continued phenomena that is contrary to logic. The first is the lack of awareness of the detrimental effects the governance vacuum has on the country’s stability and future. The second reason is ceding to the inability to form a different and capable government, resulting in being indifferent about the existence or absence of a government. The last reason is the costly bet on buying time, perhaps after a long idle summer comes a miracle that resolves this administrative dilemma. If any of the mentioned possible reasons is actually true, hopefully not, more wasted time will result in the inability of any future administration to achieve any desired reforms. The ‘right’ stance in such conditions is a ‘worst case scenario’ rather than an optimistic outlook,” the report adds.

Loss of confidence

“The most critical impediments to national security, that are unfortunately currently crystallizing, are the loss of confidence in reform, fear of the future, the erosion of the state’s institutions authority including its three constitutional powers, the spread of corruption and the impunity of senior corrupt officials, all of which are definitely not in the interest of anyone regardless of the different political orientations,” the report warns.

“Economically and more dangerously, the administrative failures and wasted time will be compensated by populist parliamentary and governmental decisions, those that will deepen the structural imbalances of the economy, undermine the economy’s strength, widen the financial deficit, erode job opportunities for four hundred thousand incoming labor force and increase the demographic gap quantitatively and qualitatively with an overwhelming increase in marginalized expatriate workers.”

“When the global geopolitical conditions stabilize and oil prices begin to fall, all the issues Kuwait has suffered from in the few years following the autumn of 2014 will resurface. With the depleted liquidity of its public reserves, Kuwait will resort to the international borrowing market. All of this can only be managed by a prudent administration, and can only be remedied by a speedy government formation. Kuwait would have been in a much better situation had such a wise decision been taken in December 2020. Despite the delay and its huge costs, this decision has not yet lost all its effectiveness,” the report concludes.

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