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Sunday, 26 September 2021

Kuwait opposition says government 'plotting coup'

The Islamist, nationalist and tribal Kuwaiti opposition describes the government's move to refer the controversial electoral law to court as a 'coup' against the constitutional system

AFP , Sunday 12 Aug 2012
Kuwait Emir

The Kuwaiti opposition has blasted the government for referring the controversial electoral law to court saying this amounted to a "coup" against the constitutional system.

The Islamist, nationalist and tribal opposition in a statement late Saturday also called for "activating" the constitutional monarchy concept in the oil-rich state ruled by the Al-Sabah family for over 250 years without any challenge.

The government on Thursday decided to refer the electoral law, amended in its current form in 2006, to the court over suspicion that it contradicts the constitution.

The move will effectively put on hold dissolving the pro-government parliament, reinstated in a court ruling on 20 June after its was dismissed in December, and holding fresh general election.

"The political authority has revealed its true intentions that are hostile to the people" the opposition said in a statement after two days of meetings that ended at midnight Saturday to review the move.

By taking that measure, the government has "started a plot aimed at carrying out a coup against the constitutional system," introduced in the emirate in 1962, they said.

The opposition and youth activists also announced they will launch a protest campaign from 27 August to press demands for deep reforms including "activating the constitutional monarchy" with the aim of having an elected government.

The opposition statement accused the government of seeking to involve the judiciary in the ongoing political crisis to create a "legislative vacuum" leading to its monopoly over the decision-making process.

It also said it will initiate contacts with all political groups in the country to set up a "national front" to safeguard the constitution and achieve political reforms.

Kuwait has been rocked by a series of political crises since early 2006. The latest standoff unfolded after the constitutional court in June declared February's legislative election, won by the opposition, illegal and reinstated the previous pro-government parliament.

The opposition had pressed for dissolving the reinstated parliament and calling for fresh polls and threatened to boycott the election if the government changed the electoral law or voting system.

Kuwait was the first Arab state in the Gulf to introduce democracy 50 years ago but the constitution entrusts massive powers in the hands of the ruler and the government is dominated by the ruling Al-Sabah dynasty.

Since 2006, the government resigned nine times and parliament was dissolved on five occasions.

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