Two Messages in the King’s Speech

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Mon 7 November / Nov 2016. 01:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

Distinctly, His Majesty’s speech at the opening session of Parliament was brief. Even better; it was condensed and practical, inclusive of the basic ideas in the Prime Minister’s government Letter of Designation, which entails detailed tasks for the next phase on all levels, including the Motion for Confidence, to be presented to Parliament before end of November, expectedly comprehensive and well rounded, following the Royal assignment.

His Majesty’s Speech from the Throne, as graceful as it was, carried to swift and crucial messages to both; Representatives and Government.

The first message entailed that the King is holding on to the Four-by-Four Representative-Government principle; the government will endure as long as the House of Representatives, which is four years, so long as the Cabinet has the House’s confidence.

This means the continuation of the situation that prevailed during the 17th House, and perhaps a little before, during former PM Dr Abdullah Nsoor’s government, which was assigned during the transition phase as well, and continued following the elections, with a simple difference which is that Nsoor’s second cabinet was a product of a one-time representative and parliamentary deliberations that failed, leading to their full exclusion from Mulqi’s team of ministers, which also formed before the conclusion of the Kingdom’s 18th House of Representatives.

Nothing ensures absolutely that the government will sustain the 4-year duration; that depends on many variables, prime of which are the Government’s relationship with the House of MPs, its ability to retain a backing majority for its continuity, and its success in addressing and enhancing the economic situation, in addition to other regional variables around us, dictating internal changes in some situations.

However, the King’s message here lays a firm ground for the government with the beginning of the Parliamentary term, and particularly the premier, who now has the support he needs build and rebuild his Government as is seen fit, and at the right time, in accordance to expectations outlined by the end of the term.

The second message has to do with the government, primarily, voicing an outspoken call to adopting “realistic and objective” policies in the Motion for Confidence, in order to avoid possible public disappointments should the ceiling be raised at such a time of difficult and sensitive conditions that do not allow for unmet promises to slip unaddressed.

Maybe it is time the government addresses the Parliament in a different dialect, unlike the typical Motions we are accustomed to; reasonable and rational pledges, back by figures and numbers that are measurable by the year, financially, particularly in regards to facilitation of jobs, and the amounts intended to dispense on development and service projects, roads paved, and the ready budget figures.

The same goes for legislation amendments.

This would serve the government best, as it includes measurable obligations, and no one could hold them responsible for anything beyond the proposed key performance indices (KPIs) for the Motion to Confidence.

Did the two ‘authorities’ (i.e. legislative and executive) get it? Certainly, the government, whose team members warmly applauded His Majesty’s speech on the continuation of government, are now rested and assured to continue in office; but that will not safeguard their positions should they fail in addressing the second message.