There were modest, peaceful protests in Kuwait today.
Last week we published a note on the political situation there. We’re republishing it below.
A new report from Citi’s Farouk Soussa notes that rumblings of upheaval are coming to Kuwait.
So far it’s just politics. An opposition party — the Popular Action Bloc — has called on the resignation of PM Sheih Nasser al Sabah.
What’s it mean?
This latest call coincides with regional political upheaval and has the potential to escalate, in our view. So far, things in Kuwait have been relatively quiet, with opposition groups refraining from protests in light of a number of important national celebrations, including the 50th anniversary of independence and the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait (50/20 celebrations). But this could be about to change. Activists have called for a rally outside parliament on 8 March, demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister and wider political and economic reforms. It is uncertain how much support such a rally would garner among the wider population, but with such rallies there is a risk of violence and escalation, as we have seen elsewhere in the region.
Kuwait has the resources to alleviate the economic grievances of its people, but we believe the fractious political landscape appears to be set for further upheaval regardless. Kuwait is further down the line towards a constitutional monarchy than most of its GCC partners. While this may limit the extent of direct action taken, such as street protests, we believe that relations between the NA and the government are once again set to deteriorate. As we have repeatedly argued, this has implications for economic policy.
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