Saturday, December 11, 2010
KUWAIT CITY: Twenty Kuwaiti opposition MPs resolved Thursday to press ahead with plans to question the prime minister in Parliament following a police crackdown on a public rally, MP Jamaan al-Harbash said.
“We have decided to quiz the prime minister and the motion will be filed on Sunday,” Harbash told reporters after a meeting of the opposition lawmakers.
The meeting came after the elite special forces used batons to beat up participants and MPs at a public rally west of Kuwait City Wednesday.
Medics and witnesses said Thursday at least five pe
ople were injured, while local media put the number of those hurt at 14, including four lawmakers.
The rally was the second in a series of opposition protests against an alleged “government plot” to amend the 1962 constitution, which made Kuwait the first Arab state in the Gulf to embrace parliamentary democracy.
The new wave of protests came as opposition MPs charged that the government and its supporters were attempting to undermine the status of the constitution in an effort to suppress freedom and democracy.
Several opposition blocs in Parliament formed a loose group in order to defend the constitution.
Opposition MPs Thursday held Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah, a senior member of the Al-Sabah ruling family, responsible for the police attack.
MP Khaled al-Tahus said the attack on the rally was “premeditated” and warned it will have “serious consequences on the government.”
“The situation is too grave … This only takes place in repressive countries … The country is passing through a serious turning point,” Tahus, who is a member of the nationalist Popular Action Bloc, told reporters.
Independent MP Mubarak al-Waalan called for the government to step down.
“It’s time for this government to go,” Waalan said.
Kuwait, OPEC’s fifth-largest producer, has a 50-member Parliament. The 16 Cabinet ministers, of whom 15 are unelected, automatically become members of Parliament and have similar voting rights as elected MPs.
The emirate has been rocked by a series of political crises over the past five years that led the ruler to dissolve Parliament three times, while the Cabinet has resigned five times. – AFP