‘Insult’ leads to violence in Kuwait poll campaign

February 1, 2012

Campaigning in Kuwait’s parliamentary elections descended into violence as angry tribesmen torched the tents of a candidate who allegedly insulted their tribe.

Local reports said that late on Monday thousands of men from the Al Mutair tribe converged on the headquarters of controversial candidate Mohammad Al Juwaihal in Adailiya, fought with his supporters and set his tents ablaze.

The protesters called for barring the candidate from running in the elections scheduled for tomorrow.

Reports said the acts of arson and the insults by the tribesmen were in reaction to a speech by Al Juwaihal, running in the Third Constituency, in which he attacked Abaid Al Wasmi, a candidate in the Fourth Constituency and a member of Al Mutair tribe.

“Al Wasmi described Kuwaitis as dogs, and I tell him that he is the son of 60…,” Al Juwaihal allegedly said, as quoted by local Arabic daily Al Qabas.

“And if he thinks that his tribe will protect him, we will crush you and your tribe,” he reportedly added.

Reacting to the diatribe, Al Wasmi, a law professor at the University of Kuwait, said the authorities had four hours to respond to Al Juwaihal’s insults to his tribe.

“If the authorities do not apply the law, we will,” he said. “All red lines have been transgressed and we will take the law into our hands if it is not applied officially,” he was quoted as saying by Al Qabas.

As members of the tribe converged near Al Juwaihal’s headquarters, they torched the tents and prevented the fire brigade from reaching them.

At a press conference later Al Wasmi reiterated his warning that the Al Mutair tribe would take action.




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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