Kuwaiti protesters, police clash

AFP-JIJI

Kuwaiti riot police on Sunday fired tear gas and stun grenades at hundreds of opposition protesters who demanded that the new Parliament be dissolved and controversial electoral legislation be scrapped.

Police arrested several protesters, including Osama al-Shaheen, a member of the previous opposition-dominated Parliament, as they chased demonstrators through a residential area south of the capital, Kuwait City.

Mohammad al-Humaidi, director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights, said a number of women were among those detained.

It was the first opposition demonstration in about a month, with a much smaller turnout than the tens of thousands of people who took part in each of the previous four rallies starting Oct. 21.

The opposition has been staging demonstrations in protest of a government amendment to the key electoral law that it says allows the government to affect the outcome of an election.

Despite the protests, authorities held an election Dec. 1 that was boycotted by Islamist, nationalist and liberal opposition groups, resulting in a predominantly progovernment Parliament.