The National Assembly.

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti political groups and lawmakers yesterday strongly welcomed a call by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on the government and the National Assembly to start a national dialogue to resolve all problems in the country.

At least six political groups welcomed the call and expressed the hope it will lead to resolving the country's political impasse and put the country back on the right track. The first term of the National Assembly was marred with endless political disputes that disrupted assembly sessions and put the country in political paralysis.

The groups, Islamic Constitutional Movement, Popular Action Movement, Kuwait Democratic Forum and National Islamic Alliance, Kuwait Democratic Forum, the Islamic Salaf Alliance represent the spectrum of Kuwaiti political trends including Islamists, liberals, Shiites and nationalists.

The first four groups said in a joint statement that the dialogue should be utilized by all parties to unify ranks and correct the political process, and described the call as a blessed initiative. They said that the success of the dialogue depends on confidence building measures, preparing a well-defined timetable and complying with the principles of the constitution.

Deputy speaker Ahmad Al-Shuhomi said the initiative should lead to stability in the country for the authorities to work together to serve the Kuwaiti people. Opposition MP Farz Al-Mutairi said the initiative should be able to end all disputes and lead to the return of exiled former opposition MPs and activists. Opposition MP Obaid Al-Wasmi said the dialogue will result in preparing all formulas that serve the interests of the people and the state and end all the reasons that caused disputes.

In the meantime, the judiciary authority yesterday took an unprecedented historical measure in assigning first female judges to preside over misdemeanor courts, allowing them to issue verdicts in minor cases. About 13 female judges had been asked to preside over courts like the traffic and normal courts.