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Yearbook 2012

Kuwait. According to countryaah, the power struggle between the emir, Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir as-Sabah, and the opposition, dominated by Islamists and stateless residents, escalated during the year and criticism of the royal house reached previously unprecedented levels. In the recent parliamentary elections on February 2, Islamist candidates advanced strongly. In May, the new parliament voted through a law that ruled that anyone who blasphemed Prophet Muhammad, his wives or the Koran could be punished with death. The human rights organization Amnesty International criticized the law and urged the emir to not sign it. At the same time, in the spring, Parliament launched several investigations that would examine a series of allegations of corruption directed at members of the government, former MPs and others in the circle around the emir. The situation became increasingly tense when ministers were called for questioning and the emir decided to close Parliament for a month ahead. But two days later, the Constitutional Court annulled the parliamentary elections, and the former parliament, which had been elected in 2009, was re-convened. This Parliament tried to meet during the summer but was boycotted by a large number, especially Islamist members.

2012 Kuwait

Prior to yet another December 1 election, the emir changed the electoral law, judging everything to prevent new Islamist successes. Large protests, with tens of thousands of participants, followed. Claims broke out, security forces deployed tear gas and several regime critics were arrested. The government banned crowds of more than twenty people, but the demonstrations continued. The opposition called for a boycott of votes and turnout was only 39%, compared to 60% in the February elections. The result was a parliament more closely related to the royal house than the previous ones.

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