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Kuwait’s Emir pledges appropriate response amid crisis

Calls on people to work together to maintain, stability, security and national unity

Kuwaiti Emir Shaikh Sabah
Image Credit: Reuters
Kuwaiti Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah gestures in the National Assembly hall as he opens the 14th legislative session of parliament in Kuwait City in this February 15, 2012 file photo.
Gulf News

Manama: Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has warned that he will not hesitate to respond appropriately to protect the country and its people.

“In his capacity as the Emir and based on his huge responsibilities before God and the loyal people of Kuwait, His Highness will never hesitate to take the necessary measures to preserve Kuwait’s security, stability and right to prosperity and living in dignity,” said Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah Al Mubarak, the information minister.

“The Emir has called upon all people to work together to maintain, stability, security and national unity and to rise with Kuwait above all other interest and considerations,” he said, following the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by the Emir.

Kuwait has been rocked by one of its worst crises in modern times that has seen the dissolution of the parliament elected in 2009, then its reinstatement six months later and another dissolution on Sunday.

The Constitutional Court in June dissolved the parliament elected in February, but rejected a move by the government to amend the electoral law.

The opposition put pressure on the government last year until it resigned in November and made advances in the parliamentary elections in February. Stunned by the dissolution of the legislative house in June, it received some good news when the Constitutional Court in September rejected the bid to change the electoral law.

It is now pushing to keep the law that divides the country into five constituencies and gives every eligible voter four votes amid claims that the government wanted to reduce the votes to only one.

The mistrust resulting from the quick-changing situation has strained relations between the opposition and the government as well as between the different blocs.

In the cabinet meeting, Shaikh Sabah highlighted the significance of cooperation and cautioned that turbulence affecting countries in the region could reach Kuwait.

“HH the Emir trusts that Kuwaitis are fully aware of the difficult situations and their ominous effects in many countries in the region,” the information minister said.

“Such conditions require that we all be vigilant and that we consolidate our cooperation and reinforce our national cohesion as we focus our efforts and energies on the nation-building process and on accomplishing further achievements that will strengthen the higher interests and status of the nation,” he said.

The cabinet meeting also discussed the latest developments in Kuwait following the verdict by the Constitutional Court that rejected a bid by the government to amend the controversial 2006 electoral law and the decision on Sunday to dissolve the parliament, the minister said.

“HH the Emir has called for a genuine contemplation of how some events and issues have impacted the situation in the country and affected its reputation. He said that several issues needed to be addressed in order to rectify them,” he said.

Parliament has not been able to convene for several months and several projects have been stalled.

Kuwait now has no parliament and under the constitution, parliamentary elections have to be held within 60 days of the dissolution of the legislative house.

The Emir said at the cabinet session that urgent action was needed to tackle matters affecting the well-being of Kuwaiti citizens.

“The Emir told the competent authorities to prepare housing plots as a priority to provide homes and ensure family stability,” he said.

“He also stressed the importance of draft laws that will improve the government’s performance and help in the fight against corruption. The draft laws on the formation of a national elections commission and on criminalising anything that could undermine national unity.”