Kuwaitis protest: new political crisis on the horizon?

      Published on Friday, 8 November , 2019      756 Views     
Kuwaitis protest: new political crisis on the horizon?


A demonstration held outside the Kuwaiti parliament over alleged rampant corruption was reminiscent of past crises that have marred political life in the oil-rich Gulf state.

The gathering on Wednesday night by hundreds of protesters, the first of its kind in the emirate for several months, comes at a time of mass demonstrations against graft in Lebanon and Iraq.




Kuwait is the only member of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to have witnessed such anti-government protests.

Here is a look at the causes and possible impact.

– Why are Kuwaitis angry? –

At the opening ceremony of the newly-elected parliament last week, pro-government speaker Marzouk al-Ghanem lashed out at what he said was gross exaggeration of the extent of corruption in Kuwait.

He said there were attempts to show Kuwait as if it were “the capital of the corruption world and that all Kuwaitis are involved in corruption“.

The provocative statement angered citizens and triggered the protest, said political analyst Ibrahim Dashti.

“Citizens feel that corruption is widespread everywhere. We are the world’s richest country but still have no good roads, (public) education and health services have deteriorated,” Dashti told AFP.

Kuwait ranks 78th on the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International — the worst performance of any of the oil-rich Gulf states.

The government-appointed Anti-Corruption Authority said last year it received 196 complaints regarding corruption cases but referred only 34 of them for investigation.

– What’s next? –

Given the current mood across the region, commentators are watching to see if the Kuwait demonstrations escalate, and if so whether the government will be vulnerable.

At Wednesday’s protest, unlike previous demonstrations, no political organisations were invited and no speeches made, making its impact difficult to assess.

Kuwait witnessed large-scale demonstrations in late 2011, coinciding with the Arab Spring uprisings.

Those rallies, led by opposition groups and lawmakers, were also focused on combatting corruption and pressing for political and constitutional reforms.

The protests forced then prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, a leading member of the ruling family, to step down.

The emir issued a decree to dissolve parliament and call for early polls.

If the latests protests continue, “the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah will resign and snap polls will be held,” said Dashti.

– Are protests allowed? –

Kuwaitis are allowed to hold peaceful protests as part of their constitutional rights, on condition they obtain a permit from the authorities.

Unlike its Gulf neighbours, Kuwait has a vibrant political life and an elected parliament. It became the first Gulf state to have a constitution and elected chamber in 1962.

The 50-seat parliament also has powers to hold ministers to account, even though senior members of the ruling family hold all top cabinet posts.



The system has led to repeated standoffs between lawmakers and the ruling family in Kuwait, whose citizens make up about 30 percent of the 4.7-million population.

Keywords:
Category Kuwait News | 2019/11/08 latest update at 11:34 AM
Source : France 24 | Photocredit : Google
757 Views
Comments Add comment



Gulf Media

Related Articles

The editorial staff of Kuwait Media would like to give all of its readers from Gulf and Kuwait and the whole world the opportunity to participate actively in the development of the website! If you have something interesting, fun, scandalous - just something worth to be seen from more people. Capture it and share it in the Kuwait Today with a short text.

Do you have information you want to reach our readers?

Send article/s

You can subscribe to our Facebook, Twitter and Google pages or use our RSS feed channel to always read the most important news about Kuwait, the Gulf and the world.


Court set to deliver judgment on Dow case
Kuwait Kuwait news

Court set to deliver judgment on Dow case

The Criminal Court presided over by Judge Muhammad Al-Mutairi is set to deliver judgment in a petition filed…

GCC to weaken, Kuwait to rebound

Modest fashion grows to a $283bln industry

Breakthrough seen in ending Gulf spat with Qatar

African leaders highly appreciate Kuwait’s Amir: Gabon Emir

African leaders highly appreciate Kuwait’s Amir: Gabon

Gabonese Deputy Foreign Minister Nanette Kinda said yesterday that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah…

Kuwait’s Ruler Fires Son Over Feud With Fellow Minister Emir

Kuwait’s Ruler Fires Son Over Feud With Fellow Minister

Kuwait’s ruler on Monday fired his own son and another Cabinet minister after they publicly feuded over accusations…

Kuwaiti emir reappoints outgoing PM to form new gov’t Emir

Kuwaiti emir reappoints outgoing PM to form new gov’t

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Monday reappointed Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah as prime minister,…

Kuwait’s emir accepts gov’t resignation Emir

Kuwait’s emir accepts gov’t resignation

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah accepted on Thursday the resignation of the government submitted by the…

GULF TV

Popular in GULF TV

FEBRUARY LIGHTS KUWAIT

5687 Views

FEBRUARY LIGHTS KUWAIT

Latest videos in GULF TV

Technology

Kuwait lifestyle and lifestyle Kuwait news

Lifestyle

Kuwait lifestyle and lifestyle Kuwait news

Culture

Culture news and Kuwait culture news

Sport

Sport news from Kuwait and world sport news

Events

Kuwait Events and Events News

Government

Kuwait government News

Emir

News from the Emir of Kuwait