Kuwait ruling family faces yet another coup plot

Kuwait ruling family faces yet another coup plot
Sat May 17, 2014 11:41:49

In a case that has gripped Kuwait, a video footage allegedly showing former senior officials plotting to overthrow the country's leadership has surfaced, sparking intense speculation over the apparent power struggle.

The case reflects competition within the ruling family for political positioning which has played out in the form parliamentary dissolutions and government reshuffles, and resulted in stalled development projects and a lack of infrastructure.

A media blackout was ordered after the video was handed to the public prosecution for investigation, and two newspapers were subsequently suspended for breaching the orders.

Although the ban includes any discussion of the video on social media, many Kuwaitis, adept at negotiating around social and political taboos, have continued to make references to the case on social media.

In December, the Kuwaiti kingdom imposed a news blackout over a probe into reports of a recording that allegedly reveals a plot to overthrow the Persian Gulf state’s ruling system.

Following a closed session during which MPs viewed the video, the Speaker of parliament - the National Assembly - Marzouq al-Ghanim, cast doubt on the authenticity of the footage and audio, saying that they had been examined and that they had "without a doubt been tampered with and do not represent genuine and reliable copies".

For some in the opposition, the case has become a means to stir popular sentiment. In a television interview, prominent opposition figure Musallam al-Barrak criticized the closed session, and questioned why the video was not shown to the public if claims that the recordings were fabricated were true.

In recent weeks, the Kuwaiti parliament has seen five of its members resign after it rejected a request to grill the prime minister on allegations of corruption.

A joint statement released by three of the lawmakers who resigned criticized parliament's "systematic and continued practices in breach of the constitution".

In the face of waning support for the parliament, the Speaker made a statement following a meeting with the Emir, in which he conveyed the Emir's "full support and unlimited confidence in the National Assembly", and quoted him as saying that any talk of plans to dissolve the parliament were "completely untrue".


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