Kuwait: Parliament Members Go Boxing!

A picture of the Kuwaiti parliamentary fight as posted by blog Frankom.com on May 18, 2011.

A picture of the Kuwaiti parliamentary fight as posted by blog Frankom.com on May 18, 2011.

Kuwaiti parliament members had a fight during a session discussing the case of Kuwaiti detainees in Guantanamo. Shia parliament member Hussein Al-Qallaf was accused by the Salafi parliament members of describing those detainees of being terrorists which was met with a violent reaction from Salafi parliament members Mohammed Hayef, Waleed Al-Tabtabai, and Jimaan Al-Hirbish, who used his Iqaal (head gear) to beat up Al-Qallaf.

Another Shia parliament member, Adnan Al-Mutawa, was also beaten when he tried to stop the fight.

The news came as a shock to Kuwaitis, who debated how low the parliamentary performance has plummeted and debated how this fight makes them more hopeless towards improving the situation of the country.

Former Kuwaiti communication minister, politician, and Kuwait university professor, Dr Saad Bin Tiflah found [ar] this fight to be a distraction from the decision taken in the same parliamentary session when the majority voted to postpone a questioning request of the prime minister to take place after one year:

ستكون “هوشة” النواب هي حديث البلد، وبالتالي ينسى الشعب أن دستوره قد أفرغ من محتواه أمس بتأجيل الاستجواب وتحويله للدستورية، وهذا هو المطلوب

The parliament's fight will be the talk of the country, and therefore, the people will forget about their constitution and how it is being violated by postponing the questioning of the prime minister, which is the main target.

Faisal Al-Qinai, head of the journalists association in Kuwait, wrote a sarcastic tweet [ar] about the fight saying:

حرس مجلس الأمة بحاجة لدورة كراتيه إستعدادا للجلسات المقبلة

The guards of the Parliament need to take a Karate class to prepare for the coming sessions.

Dr Thaqal Al-Ajmi, professor of law and human rights in Kuwait University, commented [ar] saying:

ما يحصل الآن في مجلس الأمة هو مهزلة وجرأة غير مسبوقة في الاستهزاء بالدستور وبالشعب الكويتي

What happened in the parliament is a disrespect to the constitution and the people of Kuwait.

Kuwaiti blogger, Ali AlSarraf, noted [ar] how this fight reflected the political situation in Kuwait:

إن تقاتل أبناء الوطن الواحد تحت قبة البرلمان التي تشرع فيها القوانين تأكد أنه لا يوجد لا غالب ولا مغلوب فالكل قد خسر .. الشعب والوطن #

When citizens fight inside the parliament where decisions are made, you should be certain that there is no loser or winner, because everyone loses; the people and the country.

Kuwaiti law professor and political activist Dr Obaid Al-Wasmi also made his comments [ar] on the fight explaining how it benefited the government:

تحرشات القلاف بالقبائل لا تعكس موقفا طائفيا, بل دورسياسي منظم سبق أن شارك فيه زميله الكومبارس الجويهل قبل اعتزاله ولذلك استبدل المدرب

Al-Qallaf provocation of the tribes does not reflect a sectarian position but an organized political role that was previously played by minor actor Al-Juwaihil before he retired, and that's why “the coach” made a replacement.

A Kuwaiti blogger with the nickname “Panadol” wrote a whole post [ar] about this parliamentary fight saying:

كيف ستحترم الحكومة النواب، وكيف سيحترمنا العالم، وكيف سنعلم أبناءنا، وكيف وكيف وكيف عندما نشاهد مثل هذه الصور (البايخة) وهي من أفعالكم

How will the government respect the parliament members, how will the world respect us, how will we teach our children, and how how how, when we see these “silly” pictures of your actions.

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