Thousands of protesters have stormed the Kuwaiti parliament after police and security forces beat up protesters outside the country’s prime minister’s home.
The protesters were demanding that Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, a nephew of the emir, step down, and parliament be dissolved.
The protesters, who first held a demonstration outside parliament, shouting “the people want to remove the prime minister,” started to march to the nearby prime minister’s residence when police attacked them.
Press TV has Interviewed Syed Ali Wasif who is with the Society for International Reforms and Research in Washington, to shed more light on the event.
Press TV: Kuwaiti officials have for a while been under pressure by average Kuwaitis, yet have weathered previous storms. Will the country survive this?
Wasif: It is difficult to say at this point because –as I have been saying– it has come under the domino effect of the Arab Spring there in that region. So the people of Kuwait have risen up, I think, and that the sentiments which they are expressing against the overall American policies in the region, against the dictatorial regime which basically is working in the [Persian] Gulf as a face saving democracy there –which exactly is not a democracy– and a lot of newspapers and websites talk about constitutional monarchy in Kuwaiti; it is not exactly a constitutional monarchy, it is a kind of an absolute monarchy because all the state apparatus is controlled and all the powers and authority are concentrated in the hands of the Al-Sabah family.
So the people are discontented with the foreign policy of Kuwait, with the domestic and economic policy of Kuwait and the Al-Sabah family’s corruption. So it is going exactly in the same direction as we have seen the Bahraini and the Saudi governments with a little bit difference that in this case of Kuwait we have a kind of an elected parliament which has its own weight in domestic and political affairs there.
Press TV: In context of the Arab Spring, how significant would unrest in Kuwait be for the likes of Yemen, Bahrain and even Saudi Arabia?
Wasif: Since it is just a tiny state, just like Bahrain, but its strategic location is very vital for the American interest in the region; it is at the corner of the Persian Gulf so I think the US will not allow the this regime -as it is not allowing a democracy in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
So the US policy will be similar to that of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, it won’t allow any change whatsoever in Kuwait and it will support blindly –as it has been supporting blindly the Bahraini dictatorial and the Saudi dictatorial regimes. But the problem with Kuwaiti is that since it has somehow following a kind of a lame democracy leverage, therefore, the people and the parliament of Bahrain does have a kind of a leverage in terms of political experience and political …, so I think the parliament members and the people in Kuwaiti will show better strategy in terms of ousting this Al-Sabah family sooner than the Bahrainis and the Saudis.
Press TV: Protests and civil unrest are all unprecedented terms when one thinks of Persian Gulf monarchies. Is this the new reality for those regimes?
Wasif: Of course it is a ground reality and they should now acknowledge this reality that was history when they were sitting and ruling and corrupting their country and usurping the wealth of the people. Now it is the 21st century and a wave of democracy and human rights have swept the region and monarchies are no more viable in that region and only time will tell that all the absolute monarchies in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and of course the dictatorial regime in Yemen and this Kuwaiti monarchy will sooner or later perish from the face of the earth.