Kuwait emir warns critics as protest-hit parliament opens

By REUTERS
December 16, 2012 14:46

 
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KUWAIT - Kuwait's ruler opened the country's new parliament on Sunday in the face of months of street protests and political unrest, warning critics he would not accept lawless behavior and chaos on the streets.

Security forces had set up barriers that stopped several hundred opposition activists - a small crowd by Kuwaiti standards - approaching the building overnight to continue their demonstrations against what they see as a rubber-stamp assembly.

The parliament in the US-allied oil producer was elected on December 1 amid mass street rallies and opposition boycotts over a change to the voting laws that activists said favored pro-government candidates.

A long-running power struggle between members of Kuwait's elected parliament and its appointed cabinet has held up reforms, stalled investment and sunk a series of assemblies. The last opposition-dominated parliament collapsed in February and this month's election was the sixth since mid-2006.

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