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Kuwait opposition rally gets government go-ahead

The Kuwaiti ministry of interior approves opposition rally on the eve of controversial elections

Image Credit: AP
A huge billboard bears the names and photos of election candidates in Kuwait. There is littlemiddle ground but plenty of tension as Kuwait stumbles toward the elections.
Gulf News

A opposition rally on the eve of Kuwait’s controversial elections has been given government approval, Kuwaiti media reports.

The third ‘Rally for the Dignity of a Nation’ on Friday will go ahead with the approval of the Ministry of Interior on Friday, according to activist Fawaz Al Anzi, as reported in Kuwait’s Al Watan newspaper.

The last two opposition rallies had gone ahead without approval from the authorities, leading to confrontations with security personnel. The opposition has been protesting a change in the electoral law that reduces the number of parliamentary candidates a voter can elect from four to one. The opposition has called on the electorate to boycott the elections as a show of rejection of the changes, alleging that they would lead to a rubber-stamp parliament allied to the government.

A security official had earlier confirmed to the paper that the ministry had given a preliminary approval for the rally, saying that Kuwait was a “democratic country that believes in the freedom of expression”, according to Al Watan.

The request for the rally, initially made by Islamist former member of parliament Waleed Tabatabai, cites the route of the rally as starting from the Safeer Hilton to Souq Sharq.

Demonstrators are likely to be accompanied with police protection, according to Kuwaiti media.