Analysis: Kuwait to weather crisis but faces long-run instability
By Sylvia Westall
(Reuters) - Kuwait is likely to face more instability in the long run even when it emerges from its latest crisis, as its opposition pushes for more say in governing the major oil exporter and U.S. ally.
The Gulf state has escaped the kind of mass popular protests that forced four Arab dictators out of office in 18 months. But the success of those uprisings has heightened opposition calls for a full parliamentary democracy in Kuwait in which governments are chosen by elected majority blocs.
The Gulf state's cabinet resigned on Monday, days after a top court annulled a February election that gave the Islamist-led opposition a majority. It ruled that a previous assembly friendly to the government should replace it instead.
Most parliamentarians and analysts expect that Kuwait's 83-year-old emir, who has the last say in politics, will dissolve the reinstated parliament soon, triggering elections some time after the holy month of Ramadan which starts around July 19.
Last week, politicians from the outgoing assembly raised the stakes in their standoff with the government, when they said that a "full parliamentary system" had become a necessity.
"The basis of this crisis is the same as all the others...it is a deep political crisis and relates to the chiefdom mentality of the powers which is not allowing Kuwait to develop into the modern and democratic state," said Ahmad al-Deyain, a member of Kuwait's leftist "Progressive Current".
"Kuwaiti opposition is now much more widespread and the population is a lot more aware."
Kuwait was buffeted by regular demonstrations in 2011, including one in November in which hundreds of angry men stormed parliament to press for the sacking of the premier at that time. Continued...