Kuwaiti demonstrators take part in a demonstration against corruption in Kuwait City Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Kuwaitis held a sit-in in front of the parliament last night to express their discontent with the government’s unwillingness to fight corruption.

The demonstrators called on the speaker of parliament Marzouq Al Ghanim to step down.

"Resign! Resign, Marzouq, people don't want you!" they chanted.

The protesters had been mobilised by former lawmaker Saleh Al Moulla, who used social media to call for the sit-in, organised with permission from authorities, under the slogan "That's enough!"

Al Moulla told journalists that the mobilisation was “an expression of the unhappiness in the face of corruption."

The permit he got from the government for the sit-in was posted on Al Mullah twitter account saying “the stand is to express our discontent to the current situation, especially in

legislative and executive institution that was not able to fight corruption.”

For lawyer and human rights advocate Mohammed Al Houmaidi, the initiative "is not led by any political movement, but by the population who have come to flag their problems with housing, health and education".

Immediately after arriving to the sit-in, Mullah demanded the audience to respect that his call was for a silent sit-in, and not to call against specific names in the government.

“Our presence aims to send a message that the people are upset and suffering.” Al mullah told protestors. "The path to reform is long and today’s stand is a step to change our reality," he said.

Former MP Hassan Jawhar was also present at the stand and told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Qabas the “presence of people today young and old, reflects the volume of resentment from the situation today in Kuwait.”

Loans and rights of people without papers

The stand turned from a "silent" vigil to chanting, which carried a variety of demands, most notably the demand of the government to drop loans that burdened people, and a solution to the people who are not documented.

The number of the undocumented people in Kuwait, is estimated at around 100,000. The problem, affecting citizenship rights, has been there since Kuwait’s independence in 1961.

This week two men with no papers to prove identity have committed suicide which lead to many human rights advocates to join the stand.

A conversation was being circulated that is between tweet said was the last word between Zayed Al Asmi, who killed himself and his son, telling him that he would put an end to his life because he was "fed up with humiliation", a phrase that was turned to a hashtag.

While second man Bader Al Fadli took to twitter before he committed suicide and said a poem that says “my life in a homeland that refuses me has no meaning”

Public reactions

People support the ruling family and are "happy in their economic lives,” Mohammad Al Dallal, a lawmaker, said in an interview with Bloomberg adding, "At the same time, we're sad with the corruption and lousy management and lousy services. We can't continue like this."

A user on twitter Mohammed Al Anzii said: “For the first time people come together with demands that are simple and multiple and easy to implement. Demands were communicated in a respectful and calm way, while all respect to the Ministry of Interior for the approval and let people say what they want. The presence of the undocumented people and the open talk about the two men who committed suicide this week was very important and highlighted a complex issue”.

Zahra on twitter have also tweeted saying: “The best act of patriotism is fighting corruption. Let your voices be heard loud and clear”

Another user explained the situation saying: “The level of corruption can be seen daily while driving the horrible roads, or dealing with hospitals that are overpacked and don’t have proper management or staff, or an education system that is just getting worse by the day, so I support the protest today 100%”