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21-11-2011 - Kuwait Times

opposition's and prime minister's supporters plan to stage rallies opposite the National Assembly at the same time today

The interior minister has beefed up security preparations by mobilising almost all its forces as the opposition's and prime minister's supporters plan to stage rallies opposite the National Assembly at the same time today.


There were reports earlier in the day yesterday that the opposition might cancel its rally, the first after last Wednesday's protest which was followed by the storming of the Assembly, which has raised political tensions in the country to new heights.


The opposition held a series of meetings, the most important on Saturday night that lasted until the early hours of yesterday. It was attended by around 18 MPs and was supposed to have issued a statement yesterday but MP Faisal Al-Mislem said it was postponed until today.


The opposition plans to also hold another rally on Wednesday to press for the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and dissolving the Assembly and holding fresh elections.

Outspoken opposition MP Musallam Al-Barrak meanwhile threw a serious challenge to Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi and the Assembly office for deciding to take legal action against people involved in the attack on the Assembly last week.


Al-Barrak said that he holds full responsibility for guiding the youth activists to storm the Assembly building following the rally and that "he is prepared for whatever action Al-Khorafi and the Assmebly office take as long as the issue will eventually go to the court".


The lawmaker called on all the youth activists who might be called for interrogation to say that it was Al-Barrak and other MPs who led them to the Assembly building. Al-Barrak said that all the opposition now wants is for the prime minister to face the grilling scheduled for Nov 29 over overseas transfer of public funds and the bank deposits scandal involving around 16 MPs.


Al-Barrak and other opposition MPs have made it clear that if the prime minister accepts to be grilled over the corruption allegations next week, the opposition will halt public rallies and gatherings. The lawmaker charged that Al-Khorafi and the Assmebly have become a tool in the hands of the prime minister.


Separately, Al-Khorafi and members of the Assembly office were received by HH the Amir yesterday. MP Ali Al-Omair said the Amir called on MPs to keep Kuwait united and preserve the country.


Al-Omair also said that the Assembly chamber will remain closed until the interior ministry informs the Assembly that it has finished taking fingerprints of people who stormed it. The public prosecution has already opened an investigation into the case and is expected to start interrogating people believed to be involved including several MPs.


Islamist opposition MP Khaled Al-Sultan yesterday said that pro-government MPs and circles are deliberately "inflating" the storming of the Assmebly for "political motives" and are purposely ignoring the causes and events that led to the action.


A number of diwaniyas and about 140 academics, the overwhelming majority of them Shiites, issued separate statements strongly criticizing the storming of the Assembly calling the action as barbaric and those who did it as anti-democracy.


But chiefs of the main bedouin tribes in the country have reportedly refused to meet to issue a similar statement after many of them refused the idea and wanted a more comprehensive statement to include all developments.


Other sources on GCC civil society and human rights