Freed Kuwaiti opposition leader calls for reconciliation

Published April 25th, 2017 - 03:00 GMT
Supporters of Kuwaiti opposition leader Mussallam al-Barrak (C) celebrate his release from jail on April 21, 2017 in Kuwait City, after serving two years in prison for insulting the emir. (AFP/Yasser al-Zayyat)
Supporters of Kuwaiti opposition leader Mussallam al-Barrak (C) celebrate his release from jail on April 21, 2017 in Kuwait City, after serving two years in prison for insulting the emir. (AFP/Yasser al-Zayyat)

In his first public address since his release from prison last week, opposition leader Musallam al-Barrak said “respect for [Kuwait’s] constitution and people is key to reconciling with the governing authority”.

The former member of parliament reassured Kuwaiti officials that he did “not hope to alter the country’s ruling system”.

He added: “If the authorities take a step towards reconciliation with the people, we will take two steps.”

Al-Barrak reiterated longstanding calls for an elected government, however, voicing support for “collective, peaceful action” to this end by Kuwait’s various political powers.

He went on to criticize what he described as “the collapse of education” in Kuwait, saying the country had become the world’s first major oil producer to resort to fuel imports to meet domestic demand.

“Corruption in Kuwait has reached critical levels; this is confirmed by international organizations,” he said. “Kuwaiti nationals [who oppose the regime] risk having their citizenship withdrawn.”

Al-Barrak was released from prison last Friday after serving two years behind bars for “undermining the status of Kuwait’s emir”.


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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