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7-02-2012 - Kuwait Times -

Opposition blocs open to join Kuwait cabinet, Lawmakers plan to amend Article 2

The new Cabinet seeks active participation from opposition bloc figures to create balance in the political scene. In this manner, both the Cabinet and Parliament can cooperate on working toward a joint agenda, stated a news report quoting sources close to the government.

This alludes to the fact that some oppositionist lawmakers could be offered posts in the soon-to-be formed Cabinet, unlike formations which featured membership from a pro-government lawmaker. On that regard, sources close to the opposition said that it is welcome to the idea "as long as the Cabinet is committed to certain conditions, including beginning a new approach that is different from previous ones and can appoint ministers that are credible and competent.

If the opposition accepts the offer, it can either nominate any of the MPs, or representatives from outside the Parliament, said sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. They added that this subject is likely to become clearer after meetings are held between MPs and Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.

Meanwhile, Islamist lawmakers reportedly plan to discuss methods to amend Article 2 of the Constitution rendering Sharia Law as the sole source of legislation in the country. This idea resurfaced strongly following election results in Islamists and tribal lawmakers gained a landslide victory.

According to sources, MP Mohammad Hayef invited fellow Islamist MPs to a meeting today in to coordinate for the announcement of a new conservative bloc in the Parliament.

Article 2 amendment will be a main topic during the meeting and MPs could propose a criteria to pass more Islamic-oriented laws, as an alternative to the constitutional amendment option which may prove unpopular among citizens.

Reactions to Islamists' victory from other parts of the region continued, with Dr Mahmoud Hussain Secretary General of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt recently described it as " falling in line with the Arab Spring wave."

"The Islamists' majority reflects people's desire in the region to express their sense of belonging and willingness through Islamists," he said in recent statements to the press.

In Kuwait, a leading liberal activist argued that negative aspects "resorting to sectarianism as a basis for MPs' election" is a result of the failure of the concept of modern state in society.

"The regional conditions and sectarian tensions in some countries have helped Islamist movements to emerge, leaving some effect on [Kuwait's] parliamentary elections," said Dr Ahmad Al-Khateeb. He served as the deputy speaker of Kuwait's Parliament which formulated the country's Constitution in early sixties.

"The trust placed in the Muslim Brotherhood in countries affected by the Arab Spring has found resonance in Kuwait," Al-Khateeb said, adding that Islamists in Kuwait "were smart enough to adopt liberal national and democratic approach after they failed to achieve it," reported Al-Rai.

Meanwhile, liberal MP Abdurrahman Al-Anjari announced that he would welcome an invitation to join the Cabinet, only if composed of a parliamentary majority.

In other words, only if he is among eight MPs appointed as ministers. Al-Anjari also announced that he supports opposition leader MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun's bid for speakership.

Al-Qabas also reported that the Public Prosecution Department resumed investigations on Sunday in the suspicious multi-million dinar deposits case in which 12 former MPs as well as a current lawmaker and spouses of two other MPs are involved, reported Al-Qabas.


Other sources on GCC civil society and human rights