Veteran politician says negative phenomena impacted election outcome

February 6, 2012

A veteran Kuwaiti politician has blamed the emergence of sectarianism as an important factor to be elected to parliament.

“The emergence of chaos and of negative phenomena, including the sectarian dimension, has enabled people to reach the parliament,” Ahmad Al Khatib, the deputy chairman of the 1962 constituent assembly that drafted the constitution, said.

“The regional developments, the fuelling of sectarianism in some countries and the rise of Islamist movements have had a strong impact on the parliamentary elections in Kuwait,” he told Kuwaiti Arabic daily Al Rai.

Kuwait could not remain isolated from the events that affected some Arab countries and the fact was very clear in the results of the elections, he said.

Women were eased out and liberals were confined to one seat as Islamists and candidates supported by tribes cruised their way to the 50-seat parliament on Thursday. At least one highly controversial candidate succeeded in carrying a seat, paving the way for turbulent relations within the Gulf’s oldest elected assembly.

Several analysts have lamented the “strange” formation of the parliament and predicted that it would not last its four-year term and that there would be new elections.

For Al Khatib, the Islamists have adopted the programmes of the liberals, even though they had been against it.

“Liberals have failed to materialize their programmes and should now learn from their mistakes,” he said. “The Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood, who were well organized and smart, teamed up with the Salafis despite their differences in order to achieve



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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