Thousands of Kuwaitis stormed Parliament to press prime minister to resign

THOUSANDS of Kuwaitis have stormed parliament after police and elite forces beat up protesters marching on the Prime Minister's home to demand he resign.
''Now, we have entered the house of the people,'' said opposition MP Mussallam al-Barrak, who led the protest with several other MPs and activists, calling for the dissolution of the parliament over corruption.
The demonstrators broke open the parliament's gates and entered the main chamber, where they sang the national anthem and then left after a few minutes.
Kuwaiti opposition MPs stand at the podium of the main chamber after storming the parliament. Kuwaiti opposition MPs stand at the podium of the main chamber after storming the parliament. Photo: Reuters
Police had used batons to prevent protesters from marching to the home of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah, a senior member of the ruling family, after staging a rally outside the parliament.
Witnesses said at least five demonstrators were injured.
This was the first political violence in the oil-rich Gulf state since December, when elite forces beat up protesters and MPs at a public rally, though activists have been holding protests since March.
Tension has been building in Kuwait over the past three months since it was alleged that about 16 MPs in the 50-member parliament received about $US350 million in bribes.
The opposition has been leading a campaign to oust Sheikh Nasser, whom it accuses of failing to fight corruption, which has become widespread.
On Wednesday, about 20 opposition MPs boycotted a parliamentary session, a day after the government and its supporters succeeded in rejecting a bid by the opposition to quiz Sheikh Nasser over allegations of corruption.
After the rejection, three opposition MPs filed a fresh request to question him over allegations of graft involving MPs and illegal overseas money transfers.


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