Kuwait's new parliament stirs a pro-democracy racket
Kuwaiti opposition supporters demonstrate in downtown Kuwait City late on Saturday night, to demand dissolution of the new parliament. (AFP PHOTO/YASSER AL-ZAYYAT)
Kuwaiti security forces prevented hundred of protesters from reaching the parliament building on Saturday night.
The rally, which started yesterday evening with a sit-in, coincides with the state opening of parliament and the first session since the elections, due on Sunday.
Opposition activists boycotted elections on December 1, over new electoral laws implemented by the Emir of Kuwait under emergency laws to “preserve security and stability.”
No violence has been reported today, but protesters are trying to increase pressure on the Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to disband this current parliament, and rescind the changes in the voting rules.
Former member of parliament, Mussallam Al Barrak, said the protests will continue, “until this parliament of dummies collapses” according to AFP.
Kuwaiti netizens were quick to dismiss the changes: "What a shame, you are happy with a council that represents no more than 20% of the people. What a discrace of a council," wrote one tweep.
"History will show that the people's will is beyond or over any other will", said another.
Previously, the government had banned groups of more than 20 people congregating in an effort to stem the wave of protests.
The new electoral rules which were used for the first time in the December 1 elections, reduce the number of candidates a person can vote for from four to one. Opposition groups say this skews the result in favour of pro-government groups.
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