x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Kuwait opposition planning post-poll parliament protest

Rally planned for Saturday against the new parliament, which was elected amid a widespread boycott.

KUWAIT CITY // The Kuwaiti opposition is planning to stage a demonstration on Saturday to protest against the new parliament, which was elected amid a widespread boycott of the poll.

"In respect for the will of the nation and to reaffirm its determination to continue until it has regained its sovereignty, we announce the staging of 'A Dignity of a Nation 4' procession on December 8," organisers said on Twitter.

The opposition held three huge demonstrations in the run-up to last Saturday's election to protest the electoral law amendment they said would enable the government to control the outcome.

During the first two demonstrations, riot police dispersed protesters by force, causing minor injuries to about 150 people. The third, last Friday, passed off peacefully after authorities granted it permission.

Following the results of Saturday's voting, the opposition vowed to continue with street protests until the new parliament is abolished and the disputed amendment to Kuwait's electoral law scrapped.

The previous cabinet resigned yesterday, in accordance with the constitution, to allow for the formation of a new cabinet following the election.

A pro-government parliament was elected as no opposition figures contested the polls.

The Shiite minority emerged the main victors by bagging a record 17 seats, while the three biggest Bedouin tribes, with a population of more than 400,000, were the main losers with just one seat.

No official turnout figures were released. The opposition said it was only 26.7 per cent but the information ministry said it was 40.3 per cent, based on a report by an international observer team.