Kuwaiti Opposition Calls for Constitutional Reform
The Kuwaiti opposition Tuesday announced its “declaration for the nation,” a program designed to move toward major legislative and constitutional change. The reforms are intended to achieve a full parliamentary system and elected government, and call for the party who controls the majority in the National Assembly to receive the majority of the cabinet seats. In a joint statement the Islamist and nationalist opposition said, “The proposed constitutional and political reforms aim at strengthening the principles of rationale governance and to limit the dominance of the executive authority on the political decision-making [process].” Former opposition MP Mohammad Al-Khalifa said that to achieve social and political justice, there should be a single constituency where all Kuwaiti voters have equal rights, warning that the opposition will boycott the forthcoming elections if the government changed the voting system.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Iraq, Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticized an electronic crimes law submitted to the Iraqi parliament and warned against the consequences of a crackdown on personal freedoms. The draft law would impose penalties on several alleged internet crimes the harshness of which and the vagueness of the crimes for which they are imposed, have cause concern among human rights organizations. The law, HRW’s report says, “would constitute serious curtailments of the right of Iraqis to freedom of expression and association.”