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Volume :24 Issue : 93 1999      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

THE PECULIARITY OF THE KUWAITI DEMOCRATIC EXPERIENCE ...Analysis and Findings of the Eighth Kuwaiti National Assembly Elections (1996 – 2000) and Kuwaiti Democracy in Perspective

Auther : Dr. Abdullah K. Al-Shayeji

 

The study of the Kuwaiti legislative experience has not been widely studied by researchers although it has been a pioneering experience in the Gulf Region. The aim of this study is to highlight both the importance and the uniqueness of the Kuwaiti experience through the study of the impact and the results of the last parliamentary elections that took place in Kuwait in October 1996.

This study will address five main themes and hypotheses.

First, why Kuwait is different and unique in its political system that defies the trend in the region, where democracy is not in vogue in a renteir political system that prevails in the Gulf? What makes a renteir State like Kuwait, buck the prevailing trend and embark on a transparent civic society trend?

Second, the role of the Islamist as the new opposition in mastering the game of politics and wheeling and dealings and how they have become part of the political system in following a more middle of the road, moderate stance.

Third, the lessons learned from the role of the moderate Islamists in Kuwaiti politics which contributed immensely to their moderation and how this experience could lend itself to other countries in the region in dealing with their Islamists.

Fourth, what role does the elections and participation in a society like Kuwait with its patrimonial, tribal and sectarian division have towards more cohesion or more fragmentation of the society and other societies with similar composition like the Kuwaiti Society?

Fifth, an attempt had been made to analyse and discuss the results of the last parliamentary election for the Kuwaiti National Assembly and to compare these results with the previous elections and to try to establish a trend and a curve of progression or regression.

In order for the Kuwaiti legislative experience to be fully relevant, it has to be approached from its uniqueness and its contribution as an indigenous and home grown experience and as a harbinger for the Gulf societies, in their steady progress towards more representative politics as the wave of the future.

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