Kuwait Opposition Warns Emir
Translated from Al-Khaleej (U.A.E.).
With masses of people and among a heavy deployment of security forces, the Kuwaiti opposition started its political and field confrontation with the authorities in order to change the electoral system. It raised the level of political rhetoric in an extreme and unprecedented manner. [The demonstration] even spilled out of the Dewaniya, as security forces failed to convince the masses to stay within the confines of the house walls.
About This Article
Kuwait’s political crisis spilled into the streets from the reception rooms of private homes as the opposition warned Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad against tampering with the constitution, Al-Khaleej reports.Publisher: Al-Khaleej (U.A.E.)
Kuwaiti Opposition Raises Level of Confrontation, Reaches Emir
First Published: October 12, 2012
Posted on: October 12 2012
Translated by: Sami-Joe Abboud
Categories : Kuwait
A symposium held on the evening of Oct. 10 under the title, "the National Assembly has a say" in the house of former MP Salim al-Namlan in the Jaber al-Ali district, conveyed a direct message to Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, warning against tampering with the electoral system and changing the voting mechanism. The message expressed opposition to both unilateral decisions and attempts to carry out a coup against the constitution.
Former MP Waleed al-Tabatabaie accused the government of disrespecting the constitution and putting all the power in the hands of the emir. "We respect the emir, but his right to legislate is limited, and he does not have the right to amend the electoral law," he said. "The agreement reached between us and them in Jeddah during the Iraqi invasion stipulates [that all sides] respect the constitution. If the law changes, then we will boycott the elections and we will take to the streets until the decree and the assembly elected on its basis both fall," he added.
Former MP Adel al-Damkhi said: "We want political reform. We want a prime minister and a government that enjoy the confidence of the National Assembly. Corrupt people have used their powers — aided by media outlets — to usurp the will of the National Assembly. They have paid experts in social networking sites to help them in order to influence political decisions.
"My message to the decision-maker is the following: We have the constitution between us. If you revoke it, then we will revoke it as well. Corrupt people are saying that the people want to take up arms and overthrow the emir and the regime, but what have the security forces done? When the people speak on his behalf about emergency decrees and talk about the crown prince, where do the security forces go? The people will not be defeated. They will not be subdued and they will eventually win," he added.
Former MP Khaled Tahous said: "There is an attempt to carry out a coup against the constitution for the third time and this is what the authorities want. We have already warned the emir not to let a few people drive him into a confrontation with the people," pointing out that "those with special interests are the ones who pushed us to address you directly, as if you were in a confrontation with us." He said that the opposition in Aug. 2, 1990 [the day Iraq invaded Kuwait], did not bargain over power, saying: "The level of rhetoric may further rise if we do not invoke the constitution and the nation."
Addressing the emir, Tahous continued: "Exercise your prerogatives in accordance with the constitution and we will exercise ours in accordance with it as well, and this is addressed to whomever it may concern. We are a free people and we do not interfere in the conflicts of the [royal] family, nor will we attempt to overthrow the regime. Don't let them get in the way. They are stealing public money. There's a thin line between you and the people, do not cross it."
Former MP Badr al-Dahoum said: "These symposiums will change unilateral policies, and we will not allow the decision to be in the hands of one person no matter what. Unilateralism is over, and we will not go backward. The era of slavery and [flattering the ruler] is over, and if we boycott the elections, we will not be sitting in our homes, we will confront you using the constitution, the law and the will of the people. Everyone should abide by the law, regardless of their position, and we will defend our rights to the last breath. We are tired of the consolidation of corrupted forces and people. The question is to be or not to be, and our words should reach the head of the state.”
Former MP Ahmed bin Moutih said: “I ask God to prolong the life of the emir and I implore him not to listen to those who want to undermine the will of the National Assembly. The majority are honest and I am determined to boycott the elections should the electoral law be changed.”
Former MP Salem al-Namlan said: "We have been in this country for 50 years, during which the people have been the victim of corrupt people and traders."
He added that the 2009 assembly is a stray assembly. We are in a country governed by corruption and corrupt people. He then added: "May god never listen to your prayers, you stupid people! And now you're talking about emergency decrees.
"O people of Kuwait, do not be deceived by such tricks that will only result in a corrupt pro-government assembly. The corrupt will never change, and God willing, the era of flattering is over,” he added.
Author and lawyer Mohamed Abdel Qader al-Jassem said that the symposium ignored the social protocol that prevented citizens from addressing the head of the state directly. He continued, stressing that the symposium to be held next Monday [Oct. 15] in al-Irada Square will include statements that no one expects to hear.
General coordinator of the Kuwaiti reform movement denounced the "move" of former MP Mohammad al-Kandari and the false and serious accusations made against the people's representatives in the majority bloc. Some of these accusations were made haphazardly, like the attempt to stage a coup against the regime and the threats and incitement against the ruling family. He stressed that such dangerous accusations spread hatred among society’s members and split national unity, adding that the dispute between some and the assembly's MPs can by no means justify the language of treason that affects loyalty and patriotism.
Kandari said that the majority bloc and those who support it are keen to preserve public interests, adding that their goals are national, their ends are noble, and they call for the upholding of the constitution to achieve those goals. Kandari said that accusations of treason cannot be used, and the dispute must not involve immorality, as is the case sometimes. He added that there are no doubts regarding Kuwaitis’ loyalty to Kuwait.
The people who open their houses for meetings gathered in the house of Abdulaziz al-Ghannam, and said in a statement that they met with the emir in the presence of the crown prince. According to the statement, they reviewed the latest developments on the domestic scene. They said that the emir assured the delegation that Kuwait and its future are his top priorities and that he has an integrated vision of the situation and the requirements for the next phase.
Head of the Political Bureau of the Salafist movement, Bader Majed al-Mutairi, called on the government to prevent chaos and stop the political tampering it has been practicing ever since the Constitutional Court issued a ruling invalidating the 2012 election of the Assembly. It also called on it to stop attempts aimed at putting the decision-making process in the hands of one person, all the while marginalizing the role of the National Assembly as a legislative authority guaranteed and maintained by the constitution.
Mutairi warned the government against issuing more emergency decrees, especially regarding the organization of the electoral process and the reduction of the number of votes to one or two. He emphasized that this is the inherent right of the next National Assembly, especially considering that the Constitutional Court — which the government used as a pretext when it claimed that it wanted to fortify the electoral process and resorted to in order to interpret the current electoral law — has confirmed that the emergency decrees are an exception that should only be resorted to in cases of emergency.
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