Islamists form Gulf's first political party

January 30, 2005

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 29: Kuwait's religious hardliners announced on Saturday the creation of the first political party in the emirate, saying the government could not refuse to recognize it while supporting pluralism in Iraq.

Members of the new Ummah Party, which is also the first of its kind in the Gulf region, said it was formed to promote pluralism and the peaceful rotation of power.

"In contribution to political reforms, and improving and expanding popular political participation ... we announce the launch of the Ummah Party," said a declaration issued by the founders.

The party's secretary general Hakem al Mutairi, who was until a few days ago secretary general of the Salafi Movement, announced the new formation at a press conference.-AFP