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.
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King Abdullah II would meet the presidents of Djibouti; Tanzania; Somalia, and Kenya in the coastal city of Aqaba on Sunday.
Kuwaiti health authorities on Saturday reported a new swine flu fatality
General John Allen is expected to meet later in the day with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, according to a statement by the ministry.
Earlier Saturday, Djiboutian ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dya-Eddin Bamakhrama told that his country had opened its airspace and territorial waters to Saudi-led operation.
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Army spokesman Mohamed Samir said on Facebook that border patrol troops in Sinai had destroyed 69 entry points to underground tunnels on the border with the Gaza Strip
Putting the Sinai-based group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis comes in light of Egypt's recently-approved Terrorist Entities Law issued by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in February.
Two ships collided in the Suez Canal, delaying traffic for several hours on the international route.
Gunmen have attacked the headquarters of the Houthi in the west of Yemen whilst in the southern city of Abyan there were clashes that erupted between local fighters and soldiers loyal to the Houthi group.
Coalition warplanes have struck the eastern province of Marib, targeting a Houthi camp
An Algerian diplomat who has remained anonymous has said that Saudi and Iranian officials were communicating via Algiers with a view to averting further military escalation in Yemen.
Two chlorine bomb were dropped onto Korin village with 17 people taken to hospital.
Local officials fear that the abandonment of the eastern province of Hadramawt will be an opportunity for Al-Qaeda to expand.
The former president of Yemen has knocked backed claims saying he has no plans on leaving Yemen.
A new visa requirement put in by Lebanon sees many Syrians living in fear with many already in abject poverty unable to move.