Kuwait opposition to meet after violent clashes
Source: BI-ME with AFP , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Thu November 1, 2012 11:10 am

KUWAIT. Kuwaiti opposition groups are to hold an emergency meeting Thursday following violent clashes that continued throughout the night between riot police and protesters, a former MP and activists said.

Former opposition MP Mubarak al-Waalan said the meeting will be attended by all opposition groups and youth activists to discuss the clashes which ended in the early hours of Thursday and covered several areas in the Gulf state.

The violence broke out after thousands of protesters marched on the central jail where prominent opposition figure Mussallam al-Barrak remains detained after the public prosecutor extended his detention for 10 days on Wednesday.

Barrak, a former MP, is being helf on allegations that he undermined the status of the emir during a public rally on October 15.

The interior ministry said in a statement early Thursday that five policemen were wounded after two vehicles hit them and sped away, one of the vehicles carrying a "foreign number plate."

Activists said that dozens of people, especially children, were rushed to hospital after inhaling gas as riot police extensively used stun grenades and tear gas cannisters in their attempt to disperse the protesters.

The activists said police chased demonstrators in the Sabah Al-Nasser area, a predominantly tribal area near the central jail, into homes and beat them up.

The violence continued in the area until riot police withdrew at around 0300 am (1200 GMT) after seven hours of unrest.

Protests spread to other mostly tribal areas as police clashed with demonstrators in several residential areas near the oil hub of Al-Ahmadi, around 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Kuwait City and also in northern Kuwait.

The violent protests were the second major confrontation between police and the opposition in the past 10 days. On October 21, more than 100 people and 11 policemen were hurt during a massive protest.

The opposition plans to stage another demonstration on November 4 amid a stern warning by authorities that any illegal protest will be stopped by force.

The trouble began after the government amended the electoral laws. The opposition claims the change is aimed at electing a rubber stamp parliament.

Kuwait is scheduled to hold snap polls on December 1 which almost all opposition groups are boycotting.

 

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS COMMENT & ANALYSIS

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QATAR. The turmoil in financial markets at the beginning of this year has prompted some to question whether the US Federal Reserve should have increased interest rates in December.
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KUWAIT. Kuwait has built up very large fiscal and external net asset positions over many years, which will continue to help it weather the current low oil price environment; The overall fiscal and external balance sheets will remain strong, backed by a significant stock of financial assets.
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INTERNATIONAL. A Syria in which the regime and IS, rather than other rebel groups, are the only real domestic players turns Bashar al-Assad into a pivotal cog in the fight against jihadism. That is something Saudi Arabia cannot allow to happen. To turn the tide, it needs a United States that is engaged and willing to do its bit.
KUWAIT. Kuwait has built up very large fiscal and external net asset positions over many years, which will continue to help it weather the current low oil price environment; The overall fiscal and external balance sheets will remain strong, backed by a significant stock of financial assets.
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