KUWAIT: Thousands of Kuwaitis demonstrated yesterday against the court ruling that scrapped the February legislative polls, while opposition MPs raised their demands by calling for comprehensive constitutional reforms and a full parliamentary government. Around 20,000 people braved the heat which hovered around 40 degrees Celsius and filled the “Determination Square” opposite the National Assembly, responding to calls by the opposition.
“Our conditions are there must be comprehensive constitutional reforms that should lead to a full parliamentary government and under which the people will be the source of authority,” opposition member of the 2012 dissolved Assembly Obaid Al-Wasmi told the enthusiastic crowd. But Wasmi insisted that the opposition is not in “dispute with the ruling family, but we are not slaves”. Islamist MP Khaled Al-Sultan said that the protest was staged to oppose reviving the 2009 Assembly, one-third of whose members are accused of corruption. Sultan also insisted that the Al-Sabah family, which has ruled for 300 years will “God willing, continue to rule the country”.
The protest was called after the constitutional court, whose rulings are final, last week ruled that the 2012 election were illegal, dissolved the Assembly elected in February and reinstated the 2009 Assembly which was dissolved by HH the Amir in December. The opposition has insisted that the ruling is “null and void” because it was based on wrong legal foundations. The opposition however accepted the ruling but insisted that they will never accept reviving the 2009 Assembly.
MP Faisal Al-Mislem said he is certain that the facts discovered by the Assembly investigation committee about the money transfers of the former prime minister were the actual reason for targeting the 2012 Assembly. He said he has seen many sensitive documents related to the scandal and that he did not find any proof that the money was used for Kuwait’s national interests as claimed by the former prime minister.
Mislem said the opposition will fight the next election on the platform of constitutional amendments and legislative reforms leading to a popular government. Prominent opposition figure MP Musallam Al-Barrak said the opposition has agreed that it will jointly demand a full parliamentary system. He said that the real battle has begun and the authorities must immediately issue a decree to dissolve the 2009 Assembly.