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Oppn launches rebranded popular action movement – Barrak strongly criticizes ruling family, Assembly

kuwaitKUWAIT: The Kuwaiti opposition, which boycotted the previous two parliamentary elections in protest against a controversial electoral law, yesterday launched a new political group - the Popular Action Movement. Veteran opposition figures including former speaker Ahmad Al- Saadoun, former opposition MP Musallam Al-Barrak and a number of leading politicians are among the main members of the new group that had been operating as the Popular Action Bloc for the past several years.

In a hard-hitting speech, Barrak strongly criticized the ruling family, saying it has failed to run the affairs of the government and called for introducing an elected government that should come through the ballot boxes. Barrak said that it is an illusion for the ruling family to think that it can rule the country through the singlevote law, a dummy Assembly, politicizing of the judiciary and using political money and riot police. “We are demanding an elected government that is subject to the supervision of the people and which should come through the ballots,” Barrak told the gathering that was held at Saadoun’s diwaniya after a booking at a local hotel was cancelled a few days ago. Barrak claimed that Kuwait is passing through its worst political era which means criticism is not sufficient and “we have to work jointly with other political groups”. He announced that the new movement (Hashd in Arabic) will extend its hands for cooperation with all groups.

The outspoken former lawmaker alleged that there is a suspicious alliance between the “merchants of corruption and merchants of power”, adding that Kuwait is being destroyed and its wealth stolen. Barrak ridiculed the government’s statement that the welfare state is over, saying that the government has been sending “our money abroad to support dictators”. He said the current struggle in Kuwait is a struggle between the supporters of the state and those of sheikhdom, and the former will emerge victorious.

In his speech, Saadoun warned that the number of corrupt people was increasing in Kuwait but vowed that reforms will continue. Saadoun said that Kuwait is on the verge of economic collapse if the current economic situation continues in the same way, adding that accumulated deficit could exceed KD 400 billion. The large numbers of activists and journalists who attended the gathering filled up Saadoun’s diwaniya. The movement began distributing membership cards a few days ago and will remain open. Political parties are illegal in Kuwait but a large number of political groups operate freely as de facto political parties

By B Izzak

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This article was published on 16/03/2014