Muwaizri to run for speak­er­ship, op­po­si­tion seeks com­mon ground

Op­po­si­tion fac­tions in search for com­mon ground

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By B Iz­zak

KUWAIT: Op­po­si­tion MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri who said dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign he will con­test the na­tional assem­bly speaker post, said yes­ter­day that he will not with­draw from the race. Muwaizri’s state­ments on his Twit­ter ac­count ap­pear to be in re­sponse to calls by op­po­si­tion fig­ures that op­po­si­tion MPs must field one can­di­date for the post to boost their chances of win­ning it against an ex­pected tough com­pe­ti­tion from the out­go­ing speaker Mar­zouq Al-Ghanem.

The law­maker, who re­turned to the assem­bly af­ter Satur­day’s elec­tion, said that he will con­tinue to be in the race and that he has no plans to with­draw. Three lead­ing op­po­si­tion MPs are ex­pected to con­test the post Ab­dul­lah Al-Roumi, Mo­ham­mad Al-Mu­tair and Muwaizri.

Roumi, a vet­eran MP and for­mer deputy speaker, has been cam­paign­ing to boost his chances by vis­it­ing MPs who were elected on Satur­day. Mu­tair how­ever said yes­ter­day that he be­lieves that the op­po­si­tion should field only one can­di­date in the race to in­crease their chances of win­ning it.

A large num­ber of can­di­dates have vowed dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign that they will not vote for Ghanem and many of them have won seats in the assem­bly. The gov­ern­ment strength in the 16 votes re­mains the de­ci­sive fac­tor in the race. As of now, it is cer­tain that the can­di­date sup­ported by the gov­ern­ment is highly tipped to win.

But the gov­ern­ment may be forced to vote for an op­po­si­tion can­di­date or al­low min­is­ters a free vot­ing if it wants to es­tab­lish good re­la­tions with the op­po­si­tion MPs who now rep­re­sent nearly half of the 50-seat assem­bly.

Com­mon ground

In the mean­time, the var­i­ous op­po­si­tion fac­tions ap­pear to be search­ing for a com­mon ground for unity to forge its agenda. Lead­ing Is­lamist MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaie said the op­po­si­tion is try­ing to cre­ate co­or­di­na­tion be­tween a group of 25 MPs, adding it will not be­come a united bloc like in the 2012 na­tional assem­bly.

Tabtabaie ex­pected the for­ma­tion of a num­ber of par­lia­men­tary blocs which will es­tab­lish co­or­di­na­tion among them­selves, adding he and his col­leagues will sup­port any move that serves the in­ter­est of peo­ple.

He said that a large num­ber of re­formist MPs has been elected and the num­ber would have been far big­ger but for the sin­gle-vote vot­ing sys­tem. He said their main pri­or­i­ties will be to amend the sin­gle-vote elec­toral sys­tem, scrap­ping the po­lit­i­cal ex­clu­sion and the DNA test­ing laws and also is­su­ing laws to en­sure the in­de­pen­dence of ju­di­ciary and closely mon­i­tor pub­lic funds.

Is­lamist MP Ab­dul­lah Fah­had said the op­po­si­tion will ex­tend a hand of co­op­er­a­tion for the gov­ern­ment and if it does not ac­cept it, there will be a pop­u­lar anger in the assem­bly cham­ber. Mean­while, newly-elected in­de­pen­dent MP Yousef Al-Fad­ha­lah called yes­ter­day for chang­ing the prime min­is­ter, say­ing he has proved that he is in­ca­pable of run­ning the gov­ern­ment af­fairs. He said the se­lec­tion of the prime min­is­ter and min­is­ters must be based on com­pe­tence, and hoped there will be new blood in the cabi­net ca­pa­ble of end­ing leg­isla­tive and ex­ec­u­tive chaos in the coun­try.

MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri

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