Kuwait opposition calls for parliament to be dissolved

November 29, 2011

Hours after Kuwait’s government tendered its resignation, the opposition remained defiant and called for the dissolution of the parliament, its second key demand, as a way out of the crisis gripping the country.

Thousands of people, including several lawmakers, gathered at the Willpower Square in Kuwait City to celebrate the cabinet’s resignation and to press for fresh parliamentary elections.

The call for a new parliament has been recently linked to allegations that huge amounts of money, up to KD 100 million ($360 million) according to some sources, had been deposited in the bank accounts of at least 15 MPs to influence their voting.

Although the case is being investigated by the public prosecution, the opposition has put pressure on the government to release the names of the lawmakers implicated in the scandal.


A motion filed by three MPs to grill Prime Minister Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad over the issue was scheduled to be debated at the parliament session on Tuesday. However, sessions have been suspended following the resignation of the cabinet.

The dramatic events on Monday unfolded with the early morning confirmation that three ministers were planning to quit the government and the news that the Emir would chair an emergency cabinet meeting.

The news did not however deter the opposition from confirming that it would go ahead with its plan to stage Kuwait’s largest rally in the evening.

News that the cabinet resigned hit Kuwait and beyond at 2pm, but the official confirmation was made early in the evening.

No word was uttered about the dissolution of the parliament and Jassem Al Khorafi, its Speaker, told reporters in Kuwait City that he was not aware of any decision to dissolve it.

Thousands gather

In the evening, thousands of people thronged the Willpower Square, the epicentre of pro- and anti-government rallies, where they called for dissolving the parliament and releasing the 24 people detained for storming the parliament.

On November 16, hundreds of people, led by lawmakers, muscled their way through a police cordon to enter the parliament and reach the main hall. The unprecedented action was swiftly condemned by the government and several lawmakers and the Emir ordered a zero-tolerance policy towards the use of violence.

Using footage and pictures of the storming as well as fingerprinting, the police arrested several people and eventually detained 24 for further investigation. Supporters and relatives have been camping in front of the Palace of Justice to demand their release.

“The resignation of the government is not enough,” MP Mohammad Hayef, an outspoken critic of the government, said at the rally. “The parliament must be dissolved and all the MPs implicated in the graft scandal must be prosecuted. Our sons who have been detained must be allowed to go home,” he said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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