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Thu 20 Oct 2011 12:02 PM

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Kuwait sees biggest anti-government protest yet

Some 10,000 Kuwaitis gathered to call for political change, ouster of PM

Kuwait sees biggest anti-government protest yet
Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah was the target of some protesters

Kuwait’s opposition held its largest protest so far, calling
for the ouster of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah and a
boycott of lawmakers who allegedly received millions of dinars in bribes.

At least 10,000 Kuwaitis gathered in front of parliament on
Wednesday night, calling for a change in government and a dissolution of the
National Assembly, followed by fresh elections.

“This situation has destroyed Kuwait and killed future
aspirations for its children,” lawmaker Faisal al-Muslim told last night’s
crowd. “The transfer of millions of dinars into accounts is an assertion of the
corrupt approaches in the country, and it is Kuwait that is paying the price.”

Demonstrations calling for the premier to quit began in
March. Wednesday night’s rally came a day after a government announcement that
Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al- Sabah’s resignation had been
accepted. Newspapers have reported that his resignation was linked to the
corruption scandal. Sheikh Mohammed couldn’t be reached for comment.

The opposition has threatened to question senior Cabinet
members, including the prime minister, over the alleged corruption scandal in
which it claims lawmakers received unexplained payments of millions of dinars
to their bank accounts. Lawmakers at last night’s rally displayed what they
claimed to be documents revealing the bank transfers.

Kuwait, OPEC’s fifth-biggest producer, created the Gulf’s
first elected parliament half a century ago. Sheikh Nasser has survived three
confidence votes in parliament since his appointment in 2006 and been forced to
form seven separate administrations.

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