Feb 01 2013
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Opposition rejects reconciliation talks - Change of heart on loans?
Meanwhile, Al-Barrak said that any talks the government wishes to engage in "must be based on the constitution" and conditioned with "abstaining from tampering with the electoral system". "Dialogue or reconciliation talks means that one part is ready to waive their position, but we insist that we will never change our position of commitment to the constitution and protection of the electoral system", Al-Barrak added before reasserting the "rightful demands of reform" behind the public movement. Al-Barrak and fellow oppositionists had boycotted last December's parliamentary elections after HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Sabah released an emergency decree a couple of months before changing the electoral system by making each voter entitled to a single vote instead of a maximum of four votes.
The opposition argue that the change was a deliberate attempt to hurt their chances of regaining majority in the 50-seat house, and insist that the parliament is the only rightful place where the electoral system can be changed. Last month, the parliament approved the emergency decree with a strong majority. Several other oppositionists including former MPs Khalid Al-Sultan, Abdullatif Al- Omairi and Mohammad Al-Khalifa echoed Al-Barrak's sentiments when contacted for a comment about the reconciliation efforts led by the co-called Wifaq (accord) group. "Kuwait needs political reforms which can drive the country to safety shores and ensure that similar stalemates doesn't happen in the future", Al-Sultan said. "Such steps must be based on commitment to the constitution and reverting back to the previous electoral law while dissolving the current parliament".
The Majority Bloc released a statement late Wednesday night following a meeting hosted by former speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun, in which they reiterated solidarity with jailed activists for statements posted on Twitter or any other means. "Prosecution doesn't provide a platform to find a way out of the predicament that was created by the government with total disregard to the repercussions of their step on the political and social levels", the statement reads. Two Kuwaitis were sentenced to prison early last month after the court found them guilty of insulting HH the Amir and undermining his status, in cases they filed over statements they posted on Twitter.
The lawmakers are likely to support proposals to grant Kuwaitis with shares in companies established to build developmental projects, something seen as a better long-term investment compared to cash handouts, said the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
© Kuwait Times 2013
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