Around 2,000 Kuwaitis rallied late Monday outside the parliament building to protest a government move to amend the electoral law, with the opposition threatening to boycott future polls.
Under the banner of “the people are the source of sovereignty,” 19 opposition MPs and former lawmakers took part in the protest which was held at night to escape daytime sweltering heat, an AFP correspondent said.
Earlier this month the government decided to refer the electoral law, amended in its current form in 2006, to the constitutional court over suspicion that it contradicts the constitution.
The move will effectively put on hold dissolving the pro-government parliament, reinstated in a court ruling on June 20 after its was dismissed in December, and holding fresh general election.
Elections held in February brought in an opposition-dominated chamber.
The opposition has blasted the move, describing it as a coup against the constitutional system.
Mohammed Dallal, an MP in the dismissed 2012 parliament, said that the government’s move was “worse than the catastrophic Iraqi invasion” of oil-rich Kuwait in 1990.
“The government could not rig the ballots, that is why it is resorting to change the constituencies,” he told protesters who gathered at the so called “Determination Square” outside the parliament on Monday evening.
The rally was called for by Nahj, an umbrella group of Islamist and independent opposition and youth activists who have called for activating the constitutional monarchy concept in Kuwait.
Their aim is to see a prime minister representing the parliamentary majority in the country.
Kuwait was the first Arab state in the Gulf to introduce democracy 50 years ago but the constitution entrusts massive powers in the hands of the ruler and the government is dominated by the al-Sabah dynasty.
Since 2006, the government resigned nine times and parliament was dissolved on five occasions.