Kuwait’s opposition leaders return to the country after royal pardon

Kuwait City, Nov 30 (AP) Several prominent Kuwaiti opposition figures have returned from a decade of self-proclaimed exile after receiving an apology from the ruling emir. This is a much awaited step and will help in dealing with the formidable economic crisis caused by the political deadlock in the country.

Faisal al-Muslim is one of the leaders who returned from abroad. He returned to the country on Tuesday and was accorded a warm welcome by relatives and supporters on the occasion.

Al-Muslim is one of several opposition Islamic policymakers sentenced to prison for forcibly entering the Kuwaiti parliament in 2011 during the Arab Movement (Arab Spring). This move of the government was seen as suppressing the voice of protest. After this, like many other opposition leaders, he was living in exile in Turkey. The leaders of the rest of the opposition in the country were pressurizing the Amir to issue a royal pardon, which eventually led to the return of these leaders.

The Amir announced an apology earlier this month. Tensions rise in Kuwait between a fully elected parliament and a government appointed by the emir, and angry lawmakers are using their limited powers to block the government’s economic reforms. About three dozen people have either received a royal pardon or their sentence has been reduced.

The political deadlock has added to the financial crisis in this oil-rich country. Meanwhile, Parliament has refused to increase the public debt limit to the government.

AP Sneha Uma



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