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Kuwaiti opposition protesting new electoral law - Daily News Egypt

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Kuwaiti opposition protesting new electoral law

Opposition calling for mass protests, demanding changing electoral law

Kuwaiti MPs raise their hands during a parliament session at the National Assembly in Kuwait City (AFP PHOTO)
Kuwaiti MPs raise their hands during a parliament session at the National Assembly in Kuwait City (AFP PHOTO)

Kuwaiti opposition politicians who led the majority in the recently dissolved parliament met on Sunday to discuss a possible change to the 2006 parliamentary electoral law. The politicians have also called for mass protests at the Iradah Square after the Eid holiday, according to Kuwait Times.

Ex-head of Parliament Ahmad Al-Saadoun described the government’s decision to Kuwait Times as “the Cabinet’s coup against the Constitution and cooperation with forces of corruption.”

Last week, the Kuwaiti government sparked displeasure by referring the electoral law to the constitutional court. The court had earlier dissolved parliament in June by ruling that the decision to dissolve the 2009 parliament was unconstitutional.

The constitutional court’s ruling consequently dissolved the current parliament, which was led by an Islamist majority. The 2009 parliament, dissolved in December 2011, was by contrast more pro-government.

Upon its reinstatement, the 2009 parliament called for a convention twice, yet was unsuccessful in both times. A new parliament is expected to be elected after Ramadan.

In a statement released following their meeting, the opposition politicians emphasised that they shall do their best to “force the government to revoke their decision and call for new elections as per the current system,” as well as calling for “the resignation of the Cabinet and Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.”

The opposition’s statement also accused the government of “trying to create a legislative vacuum that will allow it … to have control over the legislative decision-making process.”

Kuwaiti Crown Prince Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah addressed the nation in a speech marking the last 10 days of Ramadan, where he indirectly addressed the issue.

“The wrong political practices adopted by some people have contributed to impeding the process of development in the country, hindered the implementation of much-anticipated reforms, dispersed efforts and caused the loss of the focus on directing energies to nation building and development,” he said.

The latest feud only highlights the rift between the Kuwaiti government and parliament. Though seen as one of the most democratic countries in the Gulf, Kuwait still seems to suffer from several setbacks when it comes to political freedoms and true democracy.
Despite the fact that the Kuwaiti parliament is democratically elected, the Crown Prince has the right to dissolve it at will. All important cabinet positions are reserved for members of the royal family, as is the case with other Gulf kingdoms.

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