- Kuwait Times Extra
KUWAIT: As the number of people who signed the opposition petition has crossed 20,000, opposition MPs yesterday issued strong warnings to the prime minister over the possibility of referring the electoral law to the constitutional court. The warnings came after the opposition majority bloc held a meeting yesterday to review the situation amid conflicting reports on what the government is going to do regarding the electoral law.
MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun reiterated the opposition’s total rejection of amending the electoral law or referring it to the constitutional court and told Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah that if he can not face the “forces of corruption” he should resign. Saadoun insisted that the government should immediately dissolve the 2009 National Assembly and hold fresh elections on the basis of the existing electoral law and voting system.
He added that any change to the law must be debated by the next assembly in consultation with the government and then any future elections can be held on the basis of the new law. The government’s legal team meanwhile was supposed to have finalized its recommendations regarding the electoral law yesterday in prelude for a government decision on the issue at its meeting today.
A number of constitutional experts have insisted that the existing electoral law and voting system, introduced in 2006, are unconstitutional and must be amended. As a first step, they proposed referring them to the constitutional court. Under the electoral law, Kuwait is divided into five constituencies with each electing 10 MPs. Under the scheme, each voter is allowed to pick up a maximum of four candidates.
Constitutional experts said the law is unconstitutional because of the huge differences in the number of voters between districts. Saadoun charged that forces of corruption in Kuwait are pushing hard to abolish the democratic system because it is not serving their interests. He advised the prime minister not to participate in this conspiracy. MP Jamaan Al-Harbash warned that referring the electoral law to the constitutional court will herald the “beginning of the crisis and not the end”, adding that they are using claims about the electoral law as a pretext to attack the democratic system.
MP Abdulrahman Al-Anjari said the opposition has accepted the constitutional court ruling which nullified the February parliamentary polls and scrapped the 2012 National Assembly, but now they have raised the issue of the electoral law and voting system. He said that constitutional experts and advisors with the government failed to discover that the Amiri decree dissolving the 2009 assembly in December was flawed and only one candidate Safa Al-Hashem discovered that and went to court. Anjari charged that some quarters are trying to disrupt the whole parliamentary and democratic system in the country. The lawmaker warned of involving the judiciary in the ongoing political struggle, saying this will be a very dangerous move.
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