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MENAFN - Arab Times - 07/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab Times) HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Monday said the country was at "an important crossroads in its history," and described recent protests as "illegal and carrying a strange persistence to break the law and put the country's security and stability under jeopardy."

The Amir was referring to two recent protests held in the country during which thousands violently marched in a local square before being dispersed by tear gas, despite authorities warning against the legality of the gathering, held to protest recent cabinet decisions to reinstate a former parliament and limit the number of votes, cast in ballot boxes.

The Amir made the comments in a speech held at a reception ceremony attended by a large gathering of Kuwaiti citizens at Bayan Palace.

He began by thanking the Kuwaiti people for expressing "warm patriotic stances" during the recent turmoil that has affected the country.

"I am aware that you share with me the feelings of sadness and anxiety regarding the state of affairs the country has been currently witnessing. And you have been monitoring the acts of deviance, disorder and chaos that some have been deliberate in instigating without any justification, which have led to the spread of fear and anxiety amongst nationals over their present and future," he said.

"God has bestowed upon us many blessings we should be thankful for. We live in a safe and gracious environment, where people live in security, stability and luxury, grouped together by the spirit of a united family and a common destiny," he said.

The Amir expressed his disenchantment over the motives of the protestors, he said were unknown, blaming them for leading a campaign aimed at "extremism, causing internal rifts and breaking the law and constitutional and religious principles." He also condemned the hit and run incident of a policeman by protesters and local political rhetoric, he described as "provocative, threatening, treacherous and challenging."

"This (kind of rhetoric) cannot possibly be a means to achieve political demands and cannot be a substitute for brotherly dialogue in an environment of good intentions," he underlined.

He went on to describe the protests as "illegal and carrying a strange persistence to break the law and put the country's security and stability under jeopardy," as they were carried out without the submission of an official request.

"This translates the calls of many to put a stop to them (the protests)," he added.

"We live in a true democratic climate, that offers the right of expression to all " to say what they want to whoever they want. Newspaper pages and television stations are filled everyday with various viewpoints and directions.

"Where is the authoritarianism? Where is the oppression? When securitymen are attacked while they are on duty and carrying out their national responsibility.

"I have explained in my last speech, few days ago, justifications for taking the decision to amend the voting mechanism of the electoral process, which stipulated limiting ballot boxes to one vote per voter instead of four.

"This decision aimed at preserving national unity and buttressing democratic practices, as well as achieving the principle of equal opportunities and overall society representation," the Amir noted, adding that he took the decision out of "my national, constitutional and historic responsibility before Allah and the Kuwaiti people and in clear activation of the Amir's authorities, which are defined by the constitution and substantiated by the Constitutional Court.

"I left for the next National Assembly to review the amendment and tackle all its downsides in order to achieve the higher national unity," the Amir pointed out.

"We understand the discontent of some, whose interests were impacted by the amendment. We respect their points of view as long as they are within the frame of law.

"Yet, it is nobody's right to breach the law, which organizes the civil political practices," the Amir underlined.

In a speech on October 19, HH the Amir had instructed the government to prepare a draft law including partial amendment to the electoral system to protect national unity, bolster the democratic practice and achieve equality among all Kuwaitis.

On the relation between the ruler and people, the Amir termed such relationship as "deeper and bigger to be affected by twisted machination. This relationship had been established long centuries ago; deep-seated by national customs and sustained by constitutional practice." Hailing attendees at the gathering, the Amir said that he deeply appreciates their patriotic sentiments and responsible stances that reflects Kuwait's true visage, vowing that he will not hesitate in safeguarding the nation's security and the nationals' stability and wellbeing.

"It is my obligation to inform you on the many calls I received from our brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council, both leaderships and peoples, which stressed full solidarity with Kuwait and willingness to offer all that it takes to preserve its safety and security," HH said.

Addressing the female audience, the Amir said "I reiterate my pride of the Kuwaiti woman and her honorable role throughout the nation's history and her prominent sacrifices during the Iraqi invasion.
"Challenges needed to be faced were stalled by political bickering, as there is no other excuse for lack of different services, tumbling of projects and delay of providing housing welfare for citizens, as well as providing job opportunities for the youth in order for them to lead the country's development process," the Amir concluded.

Earlier in the morning, the Amir, continued hosting national eminent and influential figures, namely legal and judicial figures, who affirmed allegiance to the Amir's rule and praised his sagacious leadership of the country.

Justice Abdullah Ali Omar Al-Issa, the former chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, stated as he emerged from the gathering with the Amir, that Sheikh Sabah affirmed that "what he has been doing falls within his jurisdictions and in harmony with the law and the constitution, and that his actions can only be reviewed by the Constitutional Court."

Faisal Abdul Aziz Al-Zamel, member of the Higher Consultative Commission, said HH the Amir noted during the meeting that disagreements "must not be tackled publicly.

"Corruption has always existed in the country, however this must not be taken as an excuse to carry on with evil deeds," he said, citing the Amir. "I maintain same distance with supporters and opponents, I am not biased in favor of any one," he added, quoting HH the Amir.

His Highness renewed his keenness on maintaining national security, for "stability of the state is top priority and if it disappears, there will be no chance for anyone to demand anything." Dr Abdullah Mohammed Al-Dihan, member of the consultative commission, indicated that he examined with His Highness a proposed program to educate the new generation about patriotic faithfulness.


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