- Kuwait Times Extra
KUWAIT: A gathering took place late yesterday in the so-called Irada (Determination) Square opposite the National Assembly to protest the government’s decision to refer the five-constituency electoral law of to the constitutional court for a ruling on its constitutionality. The rally was organized by the “Nahaj” group with the slogan “The People have the Sovereignty”. MPs from the 2009 and the annulled 2012 Assemblies were in attendance, along with other political bigwigs and youth activists. “We were born free and will die free, and any officer has the audacity to beat any person will face a complaint at the human rights court, and there are those who are monitoring the situation,” warned MP Musallam Al-Barrak.
Member of the annulled 2012 Assembly Bader Al-Dahoum labelled the 2009 Assembly an assembly of shame, adding that the people led to its fall, and expressed regret at the way it was restored. “We reject stealing of the people’s will,” he said, adding that “this government will not be left alone” and described the Irada square as the square of pride and dignity. “We are free and will not fear anyone, and let it be known to all that powers of corruption go down here,” he charged. He said the 2012 Assembly hurt many and confused the corrupt and considered the realignment of electoral constituencies as an invention because the error was procedural only.
MP Mubarak Al-Waalan said the gathering was for the sake of Kuwait, adding that “there are those who sacrificed their chairs for the sake of Kuwait and they are doing so today”. He said there is no good in assemblies “that cause the loss of our dignity, and the gathering is to restore this dignity”. “You made us doubt everything including the judiciary in which we trust second to Allah, and you thought the people are stupid, but they are more clever than you and your supporters.” He said the government is repeating the same scenario of the national council of the 1980s, and “if we have foreign agendas, we would not have sacrificed for the sake of the (ruling) family in 1990″. He said that those who built Kuwait are the seafarers and bedouin knights, not those who went to the British High Commissioner and told him we are not among the Kuwaiti people.
Waalan said that the government and the ruling family are the ones who distorted the National Assembly by supporting every ignorant person to reduce the worth of the legislative authority, adding that the government failed to bribe the MPs, so it attempted to break up the majority. “Kuwait is larger than Nasser Al-Mohammad, Ahmad Al-Fahd and Mubarak Al-Abdullah,” he warned. He then addressed HH the Amir: “Your Highness, Kuwait is larger than the ambitions of Meshal Al-Ahmad and Nasser Al-Mohammad and the tactics of Ahmad Al-Fahd and Al-Abdullah’s conferences.” “I am among those who believe that history repeats itself, and what took place in the 90s is being repeated now,” Waalan said.
“We came today to say what is right and we do not fear anyone, and we are calling for reform and development, as we are spearheads against corruption and corruptors,” member of the annulled 2012 Assembly Mohammad Al-Dallal said. “People are an integral partner in the authority, and sovereignty is for the people which fulfilled it by choosing the government and its representatives.” Dallal also sent a message to the judiciary. “Don’t be politicized by the authority, and we support the judiciary’s independence and back its authority.”
Member of the annulled 2012 Assembly Faisal Al-Yahya said it is the people who make the decisions, and all the rest are employees of the nation. He said corruption is on the increase since 2003, and “now there is the corrupt media that introduces an alien language and the government is its sponsor”. Yahya said there should be a complete parliamentary system to fulfill our forefathers’ hopes as they wrote the constitution. “Yes the monarchy is for Mubarak’s lineage, but the ruling is for the people, as the constitution stated.”
“What is going on in Kuwait nowadays is a ridiculous drama, as former MP Meshari Al-Anjari described it in his column,” MP Abdelrahman Al-Anjari said, adding that the government of Prime Minister Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah succumbed to this heinous game by sending the constituencies law to the constitutional court. He said the majority of the 2009 Assembly exposed the weakness of former PM Nasser Al-Mohammad’s government, and we did not hear from that majority anything about realigning constituencies, and described Jaber Al-Mubarak and Nasser Al-Mohammad as two faces of the same coin. He said “one of our sisters charged us with not obeying the ruler, although she submitted a contestation against his decree!” To Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi, Anjari said: “You were supposed to be the first to disown this Assembly!”
Earlier, Khorafi said the government’s decision to challenge the constituencies law before the constitutional court was a “constitutional right”. “This is a constitutional right (of the government) that should be respected by all,” Khorafi told reporters after attending a session of the parliament office. Khorafi however said he respects the right of the opposition to protest against the government’s move. “Our brothers in today’s gathering have the full right to express their views, but all of us have to respect the constitutional procedures,” he said. Khorafi said that the government also has the right to pass laws if the parliament is in recess or dissolved. Any law the government passes during the parliament’s suspension, recess or dissolution will be reviewed by the Assembly once it resumes work for approval or annulment, Khorafi explained.
Khorafi denied reports that a large number of MPs of the 2009 Assembly have tendered their resignations. “Only three MPs have tendered their resignation, namely Shuaib Al-Muwaizri, Mohammad Al-Mutair and Mohammad Al-Huwaila,” the speaker said, noting that the parliament has not approved or rejected any of these resignations due to the failure to get a quorum. Moreover, Khorafi disclosed that salaries and incentives are still being transferred to the MPs’ accounts. The speaker added that if the parliament approves the resignation of any MP, he will inform the interior minister about the vacancies to take constitutional measures to fill them.
He pointed out that the 2009 Assembly will continue till the state budget is approved or a decree is issued by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to end the dilemma. Meanwhile, Khorafi said that the parliament office discussed in its meeting yesterday a wide array of administrative issues. “A number of decisions were taken to upgrade the administrative work of the National Assembly,” he said. “The office approved the retirement applications of some employees and will appoint new ones to inject new blood in the veins of legislative body,” he concluded.
By Abdellatif Sharaa and Nawara Fattahova, Staff Writers
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