World Bulletin / News Desk
Kuwaiti opposition politicians described government efforts to change the electoral law before polls expected later this year as a "coup", and promised on Sunday to push for full parliamentary democracy in the Gulf U.S. ally.
In June Kuwait's constitutional court effectively dissolved a parliament dominated by opposition Islamists and reinstated the previous, more government-friendly assembly. The dispute deepened last week when the government decided to refer the electoral system to the constitutional court.
"The majority bloc views what is happening as a real coup by the political authority against the constitutional system, a coup aimed at seizing the rights of the nation through the constitutional court," opposition politicians said in a statement after a meeting that ended early on Sunday.
The reinstated parliament has failed to convene twice in the past two weeks to confirm a new government, increasing the chances of a new election being called. Analysts say this could be after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends next week.
The statement accused the government of dragging the judiciary into a political dispute over the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies that helped the opposition to win a majority in elections in February.
"The political authority, through the constitutional court, is trying to create a legislative vacuum that will allow it ... to have control over the legislative decision-making process with the aim of controlling ... the outcome of any future parliamentary election to monopolise power," said the statement, published on the www.alaan.cc news website.
Kuwait has long prided itself on having a fully elected legislature and lively debate - unique in a region governed by autocrats who tolerate little dissent - but the ruling al-Sabah family still holds a firm grip on state affairs.
The most important cabinet posts are held by family members and the 83-year-old emir reserves the right to dissolve parliament at will.
The opposition statement urged the supreme judicial council and the constitutional court not to hear the case. "Confronting the scheming of the authorities is the responsibility of the whole Kuwaiti people," it said.
Opposition politicians said the response to the government plans was to mobilise popular opposition and renew demands for political reforms. "The opposition bloc sees that the popular effort should ... seek to revive the constitutional emirate to achieve an elected parliamentary government," it added.
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Tuesday pledged $500 million in humanitarian aid to help ease the crisis in Syria.
Syrian state television put the number killed at 44 and said 21 others had been wounded in the attack on Mabouja, a 60-km (40 mile) drive east of Hama. A Syrian military source said the army had repelled the assault on Tuesday.
A strike early on Tuesday near Sanaa airport blew a large crater in a group of five houses, witnesses said. There were no casualties, suggesting the buildings had been empty since a deadly raid in the same area last week.
Aiming to seal preliminary deal by Tuesday midnight with diplomats fear opportunity will be lost if no deal today
Explosions and heavy gunfire was heard in the Shida and al-Hisama districts of Saada province and near the town of Haradh in neighbouring Hajja province.
fState TV says tons of food and medical supplies have been airlifted to Shiite militant group.
"Iran and Saudi Arabia can cooperate to solve the Yemeni crisis," Abdollahian told reporters in Kuwait, speaking through a translator. "We recommend all parties in Yemen return to calm and dialogue".
In a statement, the independent aid agency "called for the urgent removal of obstacles to the delivery to Yemenof vital medical supplies needed to treat casualties from a week of deadly clashes and air strikes".
Egypt Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Egypt was in contact with Saudi Arabia and Oman in an effort to ease the return of Egyptian nationals from Yemen.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is mounting an attempt to airlift nationals from the Yemeni city of Sanaa.
Ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh thanked Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said in a Facebook statement
Iranian news website Tabnak named the journalist as Amir Hossein Motaghi, who helped Rouhani to his landslide win in the 2013 presidential elections.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation agreement signed in Turkish capital
According to witnesses, pro-Saleh forces, Houthis enter Yemen's Ad Dali after 6 days of clashes