Kuwait opposition to camp outside parliament
As they step up the pressure to dissolve the newly-elected house, which is almost entirely dominated by pro-government MPs, Kuwaiti activists call for protesters to camp on Saturday outside parliament
People, some showing four fingers on one hand, look up towards a police helicopter as they protest against new voting rules in Kuwait city (Photo: Reuters)
Kuwaiti activists have called for protesters to camp outside parliament next Saturday on the eve of its opening session as they step up pressure to dissolve the newly-elected house.
"In continuation of our peaceful movement, we call on the people of Kuwait to take part in a sleep-in [protest] at Erada Square on Saturday, 15 December," in a notice posted overnight on the activists' Twitter account.
It said the action would be kept up overnight until Sunday when Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah is due to inaugurate the first session of parliament.
Erada ('Will' in Arabic), is the name given by activists to the square opposite the parliament building, which has been the site for scores of opposition rallies over the past two years.
The new parliament, almost entirely dominated by pro-government MPs, was elected on 1 December amid a massive boycott by the opposition in protest at the government's amendment of Kuwait's electoral law.
Following the election, the Islamist, nationalist and liberal opposition has called for the new parliament to be abolished, describing it as "illegitimate" because it was elected on the basis of the amendment.
It was not immediately known if the interior ministry would authorise the new protest but organisers said they have alternative plans.
Thousands of opposition supporters demonstrated on Saturday, demanding fresh elections on the basis of the previous law followed by dialogue with the government on reforms.
And youth activists taking part in protests clashed with police for five consecutive nights last week.
The oil-rich Gulf state has been rocked by a series of political crises since mid-2006, with the cabinet having resigned 10 times and parliament having been dissolved on six occasions.