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The President is pleased to note that this week Kuwait held free parliamentary elections. The United States has been a strong supporter of this process since the Amir's decision to hold elections was announced during the Iraqi occupation. We have also been encouraged by the statement by the Crown Prince that the Kuwaiti Government will soon propose legislation to amend the constitution to broaden the electorate and specifically to give women the right to vote in future elections. The Amir and the Kuwaiti people are to be congratulated on this latest stage in Kuwait's progress toward full recovery and reconstruction.
These elections reaffirm Kuwait's hard-won independence and the freedoms enjoyed by the Kuwaiti people, in sharp contrast to the agony the Iraqi people still endure from Saddam. The gulf between Kuwait's determination to begin a democratic process and Saddam's brutalities against the Iraqi people is a vivid reminder of why the coalition had no choice but to use force to liberate Kuwait. The United States remains committed both to supporting Kuwait in its physical and political reconstruction and to support the efforts of the Iraqi opposition toward building a democratic future for the people of Iraq.