Kuwait electoral law decision on September 5

August 24, 2012

Kuwait is bracing for crucial times ahead after the Constitutional Court said that it would look into a case filed by the government over the controversial electoral law on September 5 and the opposition said that it would hold a rally on Monday.

The cabinet this month referred Law 42/2006 to the Constitutional Court requesting its view on the constitutionality of articles one and two related to the five-constituency system and the number of candidates each voter can elect.

The government argued that the arrangement was unfair to the constituencies and that it should be amended to ensure democracy practices and the representation of all sectors and groups in the parliament.

The move by the cabinet follows a ruling by the court in June that the decrees to dissolve the 2009 parliament and to call for new elections in February were unconstitutional.

The decision that de facto dissolved the 2012 parliament and reinstated the former legislative body sparked a controversy in the country and eventually resulted in a bitter political standoff and in a constitutional vacuum.

The 2009 parliament could not convene despite two attempts by its speaker and the newly formed government could be sworn in.

The government attributed its decision to resort to the Constitutional Court to a determination to ensure there are no constitutional or legal loopholes that could be used to void the constitutional institutions and to allow the state powers to focus on meeting the nation’s needs and aspirations following months of bickering that stalled several national projects.

However, the opposition charged that the government wanted to change the number of the constituencies to ensure greater support from lawmakers and avoid a repeat of the February elections dominated by MPs affiliated with tribes and Islamists.

A first public rally is planned for Monday and the opposition hopes to mobilize a large number of participants despite the emerging fissures within its ranks.

Calls by some opposition lawmakers to push for the election of the government and the promulgation of political parties have been rejected by other opposition groups, mainly from the powerful tribes.

The open divergences are likely to compound the delicate situation and might complicate the issue further, especially that a group of lawmakers seen as pro-government said that they planned to hold a rally and meetings to express support for the move to have the Constitutional Court decide on the electoral law.




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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