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Kuwaiti youth call for deep reforms

12 September 2011 20:38

Kuwaiti youth activists called on Sunday for major reforms to turn the oil-rich emirate into a constitutional monarchy, including the appointment of a premier from outside the Al-Sabah ruling family.

The activists, known as September 16 Youths group, also called for the dismissal of the current government, the dissolution of parliament, the holding of fresh elections, and the appointment of a prime minister from outside the House of Al-Sabah, AFP reported on Sunday.

Kuwaiti youth groups have been periodically calling for protests in the emirate since the Arab Spring hit the Middle East and North Africa earlier this year. The protesters are demanding the removal of the prime minister and for more political freedom in the state, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter.

The young activists want Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah to be replaced and demand the appointment of a politician from outside the Al-Sabah family, which has ruled Kuwait for 259 years.

The youth group has also called for achieving a constitutional monarchy, under which the Al-Sabah family will have the emir and crown prince, as stipulated by the constitution. The Kuwaiti people will then have the right to run the affairs of the state and the government.

The activists have called for a demonstration on Friday to push their demands.

Kuwait was the first Arab state in the Persian Gulf to establish an elected legislature in 1962, and the 50-seat parliament has some good legislative powers. However, the Al-Sabah family remained in control of most key posts, including the premiership and the ministries of defence, interior and foreign affairs.

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