x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Insulted Kuwaiti tribesmen burn down tent of election candidate

Politician has claimed many bedouin are not 'true Kuwaitis' and urged authorities to carry out DNA testing.

Mohammed Al Juwaihel’s tent burns down in Kuwait City late on Monday.
Mohammed Al Juwaihel’s tent burns down in Kuwait City late on Monday.

KUWAIT CITY // Hundreds of angry Kuwaiti tribesmen burned down the tent of a candidate standing in general elections this week after he made comments deemed offensive to their clan, witnesses said yesterday.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred late on Monday, following a campaign rally by Mohammed Al Juwaihel, who is competing in tomorrow's legislative poll.

Media reported that during his rally speech, Mr Al Juwaihel criticised a candidate from the Mutairi tribe, a 100,000-strong clan that is the second largest in Kuwait, and the tribe itself.

That infuriated tribesmen, who rushed to Mr Al Juwaihel's tent near Kuwait City and set it ablaze while riot police watched without interfering.

Mr Al Juwaihel has been targeting Bedouin tribes, who make up more than 55 per cent of Kuwait's population, in his election campaign.

He charges that many of them are not "true Kuwaitis" because they carry dual citizenship, banned in Kuwait. He has urged authorities to use DNA testing to determine who should be declared Kuwaiti.

Mr Al Juwaihel, who ran in previous elections without success, made similar suggestions more than two years ago in a television programme that also led to tribal protests.

Opposition candidates have criticised the government for not taking legal action against Mr Al Juwaihel and his controversial comments.

A liberal civil association, Umbrella for Kuwait Action, strongly criticised Mr Al Juwaihel, accusing him of creating divisions in Kuwait.