Activists are on the streets demanding an inquiry into a multimillion dollar scandal involving the alleged bribing of MPs and the funneling of money by government officials into foreign accounts.

Last week, opposition-led demonstrators stormed the Parliament building after police tried to break up their protests. Activists also attempted to storm Prime Minister Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah’s residence but were deflected by police.

Opposition MPs wanted to question the Prime Minister over the bribery and corruption scandals but were prevented by Parliamentary procedure. Legislators say that is a violation of their constitutional rights.

In October, workers in sectors including customs, energy, health care, and banking went on strike to demand better wages and working conditions. These events, in addition to the recent demonstrations, are adding to fears in Kuwait that simmering dissatisfaction with the establishment is now turning violent.

While it is not uncommon for members of parliament to openly criticise members of the royal family, some Kuwaitis say elections are weighted to favour politicians who support the ruling party or royal family. The prime minister and other high-up officials are appointed by the emir.

Despite this, the country does enjoy relatively established democratic institutions, including a broadly popular constitution.

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