Liberal MPs Present Bill to Give Kuwaiti Women Right to Vote
Five Kuwaiti liberal lawmakers on Saturday presented a bill to grant women the right to vote and run for public office, one of the MPs said.
The bill was presented to speaker Jassem Khurafi early in a bid to win priority for discussion when parliament reconvenes on October 23, said MP Sami al-Munayyes of the Kuwait Democratic Forum.
It calls for amending the first article of the emirate's electoral law which limits political rights only to men, although Kuwait's constitution guarantees equality of the sexes.
In November, a strong coalition of Sunni Muslim fundamentalists and tribal MPs in the state defeated by a margin of only two votes a bill which would have granted women full political rights.
The vote came a week after parliament rejected a similar decree issued by Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah in May 1999, on the grounds that it was issued after a dissolution of parliament.
Liberal MPs are hopeful that, with the government backing guaranteed, a number of MPs who voted against women's rights last year will change their minds and support the motion.
On July 4th, Kuwait's constitutional court, whose verdicts are final, dismissed four cases filed by women arguing that the electoral law was unconstitutional.
Kuwaiti women are pinning their hopes on a fifth case presented by a male compatriot, Adnan Hussein al-Issa, which is due to be reviewed by the Constitutional Court after the summer vacation - KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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