On April 12th Kuwait’s opposition re-emerged with a new website, politburo, media operation, and most importantly, demand—for full parliamentary democracy...
After losing momentum in early 2013, the most prominent figures in the opposition began to meet to write down their demands. The talks took place “behind the scenes," says a well-connected activist who was kept in the dark. All the big personalities were at the table: Musallam al-Barrak, a former MP who became a symbol of dissent when he was charged with “insulting the emir”; Jamaan Herbash, a respected, soft-spoken member of the Muslim Brotherhood; Tariq al-Mutairi, head of the Civil Democratic Movement, a youth coalition. Salafists, leftists, trade unions, the student union and some civil society groups also signed on.
Few expected such a broad coalition to agree on anything substantive, let alone the 23-page document that aims to pull Kuwait out of what the introduction terms its “worst phase ever”. It laments that society is divided, Kuwait’s oil wealth has been pillaged thanks to corruption, the justice system is unfair, and human rights are neglected. As a solution it proposes a full parliamentary system, with a stronger legislature, independent judiciary and revised criminal code. The demands, spelled out with specific changes to the constitution, would vastly diminish the power of the ruling family.