Kuwaiti opposition threatens to resort to street

January 4, 2011

Kuwaiti opposition lawmakers said that all options against the government would remain open as their initial move to vote out the prime minister on Wednesday seemed doomed to fail.

New options to oust the government included street pressure tactics and grilling Shaikh Jaber Al Khalid, the interior minister, the Popular Action Bloc and the Development and Reforms Bloc said, Al Rai daily reported on Tuesday.

“We will not lapse into silence and we will consider new options following the vote,” the two blocs agreed, according to the daily. “We will continue relentlessly to press for the resignation of the government.”

The parliament is scheduled to vote on a no-cooperation motion against Prime Minister Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad filed by ten lawmakers following an 11-hour grilling of the premier last week.

The quizzing was prompted by clashes on December 8 between anti-riot police and people attending a rally held ostensibly to discuss possible amendments to the constitution and moves to lift the parliamentary immunity of a lawmaker who in November 2009 accused Shaikh Nasser of handing a 700,000-dollar cheque to a former MP and charged it amounted to “political corruption.”

The opposition’s latest pressure warning was issued after it failed to rally more than 22 lawmakers to vote against the government, four short of the simple majority it needs to carry the no-cooperation motion.

Their efforts were dealt a strong blow on Sunday after two “swing” lawmakers said that they would not vote against Shaikh Nasser who now looked certain of surviving the motion.

However, opposition MPs said that the premier’s likely win will not make them give up the fight to oust the government.

“We will go to the street. The street is many countries has caused the fall of governments and we are confident that the Kuwaiti street will push for the resignation of Shaikh Nasser’s government,” MP Muslim Al Barrak said.

“The street has often annoyed MPs and even the government and we will exercise our right to resort to it. We will be practical about it.”

The pressure will start right after the outcome of the no-cooperation vote, Al Barrak said.

However, other lawmakers have warned against the street option, warning that it could fuel turmoil in the country.

“The street option could result in mental terrorism that forces people to change their convictions,” MP Adnan Abdul Samad said.

“We have to seriously look at Kuwait’s future and while I do appreciate the wounds that people have suffered, they should always consider the future of our nation,” he said, quoted by the Kuwaiti daily.

MP Abdul Rahman Al Anjari said that the street pressure option should be ruled out.

“I will respect the parliament’s decision on the no-cooperation motion. We should all continue to work to enact laws and introduce legislation,” he said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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