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Friday, December 19, 2014  

Kuwait emir asks outgoing PM to form cabinet
KUWAIT CITY The Kuwaiti emir on Wednesday asked the outgoing prime minister to form a new government following polls boycotted by the opposition, state media said, after a second night of street protests.

Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah, a senior member of the ruling Al Sabah family, submitted the resignation of his five-month-old cabinet on Monday, as required by the constitution after weekend polls.

The premier should form the cabinet before December 16 when the new parliament is scheduled to hold its opening session.

Saturday’s snap poll, the second this year, was boycotted by the Islamist, nationalist and liberal opposition in protest at an amendment to the electoral law.

The opposition has demanded that the new parliament, dominated by pro-government MPs, must be abolished and the amendment to the law be scrapped because it breached the constitution.

The opposition plans to hold a demonstration on Saturday but youth activists staged street protests on Monday and Tuesday nights, in several areas at the same time.

In Tuesday’s protests, activists clashed with police as they took to the streets in at least eight areas of the Gulf state. Police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons to disperse the protesters.

Kuwait’s Interior Ministry said it would take all necessary measures to prevent “unauthorised assembly” after dispersing protesters it said threw stones and tried to mow down police with cars.  

Police have broken up a series of snap demonstrations outside the capital since Saturday.  

The opposition, which includes Islamist and populist politicians, refused to stand in last Saturday’s parliamentary vote.  

“A crowd marched in several residential areas in some districts in violation of laws and procedures,” the interior ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency Kuna, referring to a march the previous evening.  

“The interior ministry will never allow any unauthorised gatherings whatever their aims and needs are.” It said several policemen were hurt on Monday when some protesters in cars attempted to run over them. Others were hit by stones.  

Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai said the protest was broken up with tear gas and stun grenades.   

Kuwaitis protested again overnight on Tuesday in Sabah Al Nasser and Jahra, some of the more run-down neighbourhoods to the southwest of Kuwait City, Al Rai added.  

On Wednesday, the daily published a photo of a police firing tear gas from a truck and a photo of a group of youths with headscarves wrapped around their faces throwing what it said were stones.

The Alaan news website showed pictures of injured protesters and said others had been detained. It said police used a water cannon to disperse crowds on Monday.

Sheikh Jaber, 69, was appointed premier in November last year after prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah, quit following a dispute with the opposition and allegations of corruption.

Agencies
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