Many expat and external observers wondering what is going in Kuwait? Questioning, what is behind the demonstration and the motivation of the protestors? How far this could escalate and to what extent?
A Western diplomat quoted, “under normal circumstances people head to the street when ever they are losing their jobs or living under over all atrocity committed by the people in power. This is something not happening in Kuwait.” He added “this is a five star protestors living a luxury life style, government providing every one of them a secured job, free health care, education and housing welfare. We just can not understand what is going on in Kuwait!”
This is all about the post 1991 Gulf War — cold war between the Bedouin tribes and the monarchy backed up by traditional Kuwaiti families. Add on top of it, the ever growing pressure mounted mainly by rival Islamic factions or unofficial political parties, pushing toward more power sharing to implement their own political agenda.
Historically, the conflict over power in Kuwait started in 1921 which have resulted in the formation of AlShourah Assembly, setting up the foundation of an early democracy. The conflict over power then was characterized as a peaceful negotiation between the leaders of traditional Kuwaiti families and the monarchy. Before this turned into a more organized intensified work, aimed at pushing for more power sharing. Where this have continued all the way until 1990 prior to the Iraqi invitation of Kuwait. Before the conflict over power have shifted direction and changing positions to be between the Bedouin tribes and the monarchy — the old time allies.
Ignited by the dispute over the voting mechanism. Cultivated by the Arab Spring and under the umbrella of political reforms, fighting corruption, achieving justice and pushing for aggressive implementation of government development programs. The conflict over power have escalated becoming more aggressive and holistic.
The questions to be asked, is this escalation truly justifiable? Are there some other factors fueling the political unrest in Kuwait!
No one against the development of the democratic process and giving the citizen more power sharing. The constitution of Kuwait is flexible enough to make it happen.
At this stage we should undertake the necessary legal and administrative procedures for setting up the foundation for the establishment of political parties, which constitute the bases for democracy.
We have also to deal with the fact that democracy is about the rule of majority, while protecting the interest of minorities. We should apply a proper mechanism to make people accept those facts and be able to live with them peacefully. What we should be cautious about is pace and the speed this is going through.
Kuwait politics is so much influenced by the deeply rooted tribal norms and predominant conservative Islamic rituals. Putting this all together forming a conflicting force against the principles of western style democracy.
I am not quite sure about if it is possible for Kuwaiti tribal members, to put the tribe interest on top of the country national interest. I am also not sure about how can we deal with the issue of the public tolerance toward accepting other people faith and believes.
It seems from what we have discussed, that the status quo could eventually lead the Kuwaiti society into a course of collision and the country into possible civil unrest.
Finally and to conclude, answering the questions we have raised in the beginning. I think this is all about nothing other than conflict over power, ambition for dominance and dictating political agenda.