Kuwait ruling family council warns against ‘disobedience’ to emir

In a rare statement, Kuwait’s ruling family council warns against disobedience to Emir Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, who had faced criticism from opposition politicians.

“His Highness the Crown Prince [, Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah], in his capacity as president of the council, would…like to assert His Highness the emir’s right to be obeyed,” read the statement, Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA) reported on Thursday.

“The council would like to reaffirm that any affair relating to the ruling family is not subject to publication in any form whether audio, visual or written,” it added.

The statement came after two opposition politicians were arrested and a third was questioned for their alleged criticism of the Kuwaiti emir.

The detainees are former lawmakers, Bader al-Dahum and Falah al-Sawwagh, who addressed on Monday an opposition rally, which turned violent.

Since last year, Kuwait has witnessed regular demonstrations mainly resulting from a power struggle between the government led by Al Sabah family and the parliament dominated by opposition.

Tensions have increased after Sheikh Sabah dissolved the parliament last week. 

Kuwait has been dominated by the Al Sabah family’s members since the dynasty began ruling the Persian Gulf state about 250 years ago.

Analysts say that the Kuwaiti authorities’ trouble at maintaining the old political routine in the emirate translates into the first positive sign of political change in the region to follow the recent demise of Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. They believe that the power vacuum in the ‘Big Brother’ powerhouse works to undermine the despotic rulers in the regional Arab states.

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