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Kuwaiti opposition activists demand dissolution of new parliament

16 December 2012 7:19

Hundreds of Kuwaiti opposition activists have staged a sit-in to demand dissolution of the new parliament on the eve of its inauguration by Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

The protesters held the night-time sit-in in the capital Kuwait City on Saturday. They chanted slogans calling for dissolving the parliament, which was elected two weeks ago in polls boycotted by the opposition.

A number of former opposition lawmakers were present at the sit-in.

Former lawmaker Mussallam al-Barrak told the crowd that the opposition will continue the peaceful protests “until this parliament of dummies collapses,” adding that the opposition “will not allow anyone to manipulate the constitution.”

Barrak also stated that the opposition will never deal with this parliament or government. “We will never allow the prime minister and the ministers to become members in any future government.”

The opposition plans to gather outside the parliament on Sunday and hold a demonstration in the same place in the evening.

Activists say the decision to change the electoral law by the Kuwait ruler is aimed at electing a rubber-stamp parliament.

According to results released by the National Election Commission, 33 new faces, including three women, were elected to the new parliament.

The Kuwaiti Information Ministry said the voter turnout was 38.8 percent, but the opposition reported lower percentage.

Kuwait was the first Arab state in the Persian Gulf to establish an elected parliament in 1962. However, the al-Sabah family remained in control of key posts, including the positions of prime minister and defense, interior, and foreign minister.

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