Kuwait Emir rules out dissolving parliament or sacking government

November 21, 2011
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Kuwait’s Emir has ruled out dissolving the parliament or allowing the prime minister to resign, a key demand by the opposition, stressing that the storming of the National Assembly was a black day for the country.

“I will not dissolve the parliament or the government,” Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad said.

“They will run their course and there will be afterwards new elections and a new parliament and a new government. People have to wait until the end of the parliament’s term. How can I stall now the parliament while people are not ready for elections because of the escalation? We will probably have the same outcome from the elections [if held now],” the Emir told the editors in chief of the Kuwaiti dailies.

Unprecedented action

Hundreds of protesters, led by opposition lawmakers, on Wednesday evening, muscled their way into the parliament, breaking through a police cordon and reaching Abdullah Al Salem Hall, the main room where MPs convene.

The unprecedented action has sparked a concert of condemnations amid reports that those involved will face harsh prison terms and punitive action.

“You held demonstrations and insulted people, using expressions that are alien to the Kuwaiti society,” Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad said, referring to protesters.

“Nevertheless, the matter was accepted within the frame of democracy. However, the acts of storming the parliament and the Abdullah Al Salem Hall and having 150 people, including MPs, break into the hall, break doors and sabotage items are not related in any way to democracy, freedom or opposition. This is an attack on the constitution,” he said.

Dismissal

The opposition has been calling for the dismissal of the prime minister, Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad, and its moves ranged from grilling him to staging rallies and, last week, storming the parliament.

However, the Emir said that appointing and dismissing prime ministers were among his constitutional powers.

“I am the one who appoints and dismisses the prime minister and who endorses the appointment of ministers. This is clearly stipulated in the constitution. So when someone swears that he will remove the prime minister, he is in fact abusing the constitution,” he said.

“They claim that they want to uphold the constitution. It is my duty to uphold the constitution. How can I remove someone who did not steal and did not violate the constitution? It is just a personal animosity,” he said.

Constitution flouted

Several MPs last week said that the constitution had been flouted after their attempt to grill the prime minister over alleged bribes deposited in the bank accounts of some lawmakers failed for lack of the required quota.

The public prosecution has launched an investigation into claims that around 15 lawmakers have received huge amounts of money in their bank accounts. The opposition charged that it was political money to secure their votes.

“The MPs are well aware that the case of the deposited money is being investigated by the public prosecution and will be decided by the court. They should wait until the verdict is out. Whatever the ruling is, even if it is not in favour of the prime minister or senior officials, it will be implemented,” the Emir said.

Zero tolerance

Shaikh Sabah said that there would be a zero tolerance policy towards those who stormed the parliament and that 40 have already been identified and would be referred to the public prosecution.

“We often issued pardons in personal cases, even when someone wronged the prime minister. However, what happened on Wednesday was a crime against Kuwait and the law will be fully applied against those who stormed the parliament. We wil not forgive,” he said.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/kuwait/kuwait-emir-rules-out-dissolving-parliament-or-sacking-government-1.934411

         

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About the author

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

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