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Kuwait opposition leaders criticize government challenge to election law

Leaders of political opposition in Kuwait on Sunday criticized the government's efforts to change the country's election law through the Constitutional Court, saying the government is attempting to seize power through the court in violation of the constitution. The government announced last week that they had asked the national Constitutional Court to review the legality of the country's election law. Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah [official website, in Arabic] stated that the decision of referral was made after all constitutional experts agreed that the 2006 election law violates the country's constitution. Opposition leaders told reporters on Sunday that they would fight to reinstate a democratically elected parliament [Reuters report].

In June the Constitutional Court ruled that this year's election for the new parliament was unconstitutional [JURIST report] and the previous parliament of 2009 should be reinstated, thereby removing the opposition-controlled parliament, and restoring a more government-friendly body. Earlier that month, Kuwait's ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] suspended [NYT report] the parliament for a month in response to escalating tensions between the more liberal, western-backed lawmakers and the Islamist-led lawmakers. The tension grew when two cabinet ministers resigned under the pressure of the Islamist-led lawmakers who tried to gain more seats.

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