* Emir calls for tough action to maintain public order
* Statement follows storming of parliament on Wednesday
* Opposition MP says more protests to follow
By Eman Goma
KUWAIT, Nov 17 Kuwait's emir ordered
security forces on Thursday to "take all measures" to maintain
public order after protesters stormed parliament demanding the
resignation of the prime minister over alleged corruption.
An opposition lawmaker, who took part in the invasion of
parliament on Wednesday night, threatened more protests if the
government and the assembly were not dissolved.
"His Highness (the emir) ordered the Interior Ministry and
the National Guard to take all measures and preparations needed
to confront all that affects the security of the country and the
requirements for maintaining public order," the state's KUNA
news agency said.
It was quoting a government spokesman after an emergency
cabinet meeting chaired by Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the
emir or ruler of Kuwait.
Kuwait, a key regional U.S. ally and one of the world's main
oil exporters, has largely escaped the so-called Arab Spring
unrest that ended in the overthrow of the presidents of Tunisia,
Egypt and Libya.
Witnesses said the storming of parliament was the most
serious protest to affect this Gulf Arab country in recent
Footage showed protesters, including some opposition
lawmakers, pushing security aside as they forced open the doors
of the assembly. White head dresses worn by Gulf men were strewn
on the floor outside the gates of the assembly.
"The people want to bring down the head (of government),"
the crowds chanted, recalling the cries of thousands of Egyptian
demonstrators early this year demanding Hosni Mubarak's ouster.
The state's KUNA news agency said six members of the
security forces were hurt in the incident.
Forensic experts were seen lifting fingerprints from the
assembly building on Thursday after some MPs demanded that those
involved in the raid be prosecuted.
The protesters want the government headed by Sheikh Nasser
al-Mohammad al-Sabah, an influential member of the ruling
family, to be sacked. They accuse him of corruption. He denies
Wednesday's protest came the day after the government and
parliament, in an unprecedented move, voted against a request by
some lawmakers to question Sheikh Nasser in the assembly.
"We are now waiting for the dissolution of government and
the parliament. Until this happens, Wednesday was only the first
step among many. We don't fear anything except God," said
opposition lawmaker Musallam al-Barak.
"This is our assembly and the people's assembly, not the
assembly of those who use it to protect their interests. When
the constitution is violated, the people will take revenge."
The Gulf Arab state has endured a long political stalemate
and opposition has built up against Sheikh Nasser.
Media and witnesses said on Wednesday that before the
storming of parliament, special police forces had beaten some
demonstrators holding a weekly vigil near the assembly.
In May, two lawmakers attempted to question Sheikh Nasser
over alleged misuse of public funds, a charge he denies. The
request came days after he had unveiled his seventh cabinet.
The previous cabinet quit in March to avoid parliamentary
questioning of three ministers.
(Reporting by Eman Goma and Mahmoud Harbi; Writing by Sami
Aboudi; Editing by Robert Woodward)