World Bulletin / News Desk
Thousands of Kuwaitis protested on Tuesday against a court ruling that effectively dissolved a parliament dominated by opposition Islamists and reinstated the previous, more government-friendly, assembly.
They packed Erada square opposite parliament in the OPEC-oil producer and chanted "we will not surrender", after lawmakers decried the ruling as a coup against the constitution and called for protests.
"We came here to say no to the previous parliament because its members were corrupt," said Khaled al-Khalifa, 24. "They stole the people's money."
Kuwait has long prided itself on having a fully elected parliament with legislative power and lively debate - unique in a region ruled by autocrats who tolerate little dissent - but the ruling al-Sabah family maintains a firm grip on state affairs.
Key cabinet posts are held by al Sabah family members and the 83-year-old emir, who has the last say in politics, reserves the right to dissolve parliament at will.
"The parliament was under attack because it went out of (the government's) control," Adel al-Damkhi, a Salafi Islamist member of the annulled assembly, told throngs of protesters at Erada square, scene of several anti-government protests.
"We can't accept less than a government that is elected by the people."
Another lawmaker, Obeid al-Wasmi, said some members of the previous parliament should be investigated for corruption rather than reinstalling the assembly.
"We have a government that doesn't listen, doesn't see and all it does is deceiving the people," he said. "Kuwait is not a chicken farm."
The protest, which gathered at least 4,000 people, according to a Reuters witness, was marked by a lack of a security presence.
The Gulf state has ushered in four parliaments in six years and was rattled by regular demonstrations last year, including one in November in which hundreds of men stormed parliament to press for the sacking of the premier at that time, who they implicated in a corruption scandal he was later cleared of.
And while it has escaped the kind of mass popular protests that has forced four Arab dictators out of office, those uprisings have heightened opposition calls for a full parliamentary democracy.
During their four months in parliament, opposition lawmakers emboldened by their success at the polls repeatedly sought to grill cabinet members, forcing the resignation of two, including the finance minister.
The cabinet, formed in February following the snap parliamentary election now ruled void, submitted its resignation on Monday in a step that could pave a way out of the crisis.
Pro-government MPs have been demanding the reinstated assembly, which the emir dissolved in December last year following months of bickering with the government, be allowed to finish its term, while opponents have threatened to block any attempt to convene it.
Optimists hope the move will give Kuwait another chance to break out of a crippling political cycle that has seen eight governments come and go in just six years and hindered any major economic reforms.
ISIL has taken full control of Gardabiya, the main airport in Sirte after clashes with troops loyal to the Libyan government.
ISIL is set on dividing the Arabian peninsula and increasing sectarian violence in the region.
At least 85 civilians reported killed after government forces carry out raids in Aleppo province, monitoring group says.
The Syrian regime has evacuated the Deir ez-Zor museum's contents to an unknown destination.
Mohamed Soltan, the son of senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Salah Soltan was released from an Egyptian prison after relinquishing his Egyptian nationalityand is on his way to the USA.
Syrian government forces have evacuated Ariha as the alliance of opposition forces have advanced upon the Syrian town of Ariha which borders Turkey
The Houthi have abducted Yemeni lawyer Ahmed al-Hajj and three of his sons from his home in Ibb province.
Qatar will open an embassy in Baghdad, Iraq's foreign minister said Friday.
ISIL has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack at the entrance of a mosque in Saudi Arabia today.
A nine year $12 billion dollar petrochemical project will be built in the Iranian city of Chabahar.
Iran has shared a very limited amount of information with the IAEA with no breakthrough in its inquiry regarding Iran's nuclear plans.
The bomb detonated outside Imam Hussein mosque in the city of al-Dammam during the Friday sermon.
The UN aid chief in her final briefing to Security Council, has painted a disturbed picture of the savagery of the war.
Saudi-led coalition warplanes struck Houthi militias in Yemen on Friday
The EU has extended the sanction over Syria for another year, also adding a senior official to its sanctions list.
Israel already gets at least $3 billion annually from Washington however fears over an Iran deal has seen a request from Israel to the US to increase the spending.