Reuters

Kuwait vote boycott deepens rift between city and tribes

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A demonstrator kicks a tear gas canister away during clashes with anti-riot police at a protest against the election results in Kuwait in this December 4, 2012 file photo. In a room scented with incense, twelve men in long traditional robes sip sweet tea and debate the future for Kuwait's tribes at one of many "diwaniya" across the country, a tradition of evening social gatherings older than Kuwait itself. In the Saber al-Nasser...more

A demonstrator kicks a tear gas canister away during clashes with anti-riot police at a protest against the election results in Kuwait in this December 4, 2012 file photo. In a room scented with incense, twelve men in long traditional robes sip sweet tea and debate the future for Kuwait's tribes at one of many "diwaniya" across the country, a tradition of evening social gatherings older than Kuwait itself. In the Saber al-Nasser area where the diwaniya took place some 20 km (12 miles) outside Kuwait City, police had to use tear gas and make arrests to disperse local youths protesting the voting changes in rare clashes in recent weeks. To match Feature KUWAIT-TRIBES/ REUTERS/Obaida al Ahmad/Files
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Protesters calling for changes on voting rules march in Sabah al Nasr suburb December 5, 2012. In a room scented with incense, twelve men in long traditional robes sip sweet tea and debate the future for Kuwait's tribes at one of many "diwaniya" across the country, a tradition of evening social gatherings older than Kuwait itself. In the Saber al-Nasser area where the diwaniya took place some 20 km (12 miles) outside Kuwait City,...more

Protesters calling for changes on voting rules march in Sabah al Nasr suburb December 5, 2012. In a room scented with incense, twelve men in long traditional robes sip sweet tea and debate the future for Kuwait's tribes at one of many "diwaniya" across the country, a tradition of evening social gatherings older than Kuwait itself. In the Saber al-Nasser area where the diwaniya took place some 20 km (12 miles) outside Kuwait City, police had to use tear gas and make arrests to disperse local youths protesting the voting changes in rare clashes in recent weeks. Picture taken December 5, 2012. To match Feature KUWAIT-TRIBES/ REUTERS/Stephanie Mcgehee
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Demonstrators stand in the middle of a street during clashes with anti-riot police as they protest against the election results in Kuwait in this December 4, 2012 file photo. In a room scented with incense, twelve men in long traditional robes sip sweet tea and debate the future for Kuwait's tribes at one of many "diwaniya" across the country, a tradition of evening social gatherings older than Kuwait itself. In the Saber al-Nasser...more

Demonstrators stand in the middle of a street during clashes with anti-riot police as they protest against the election results in Kuwait in this December 4, 2012 file photo. In a room scented with incense, twelve men in long traditional robes sip sweet tea and debate the future for Kuwait's tribes at one of many "diwaniya" across the country, a tradition of evening social gatherings older than Kuwait itself. In the Saber al-Nasser area where the diwaniya took place some 20 km (12 miles) outside Kuwait City, police had to use tear gas and make arrests to disperse local youths protesting the voting changes in rare clashes in recent weeks. To match Feature KUWAIT-TRIBES/ REUTERS/Obaida al Ahmad/Files
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People, some showing four fingers on one hand, look up towards a police helicopter (not seen) as they protest against new voting rules in Kuwait city in this December 8, 2012 file photo. The December election was the fifth in the Gulf Arab state in six years. In an election in February, tribal candidates performed strongly and joined with mainly Islamist MPs to form a majority opposition bloc which put pressure on the government....more

People, some showing four fingers on one hand, look up towards a police helicopter (not seen) as they protest against new voting rules in Kuwait city in this December 8, 2012 file photo. The December election was the fifth in the Gulf Arab state in six years. In an election in February, tribal candidates performed strongly and joined with mainly Islamist MPs to form a majority opposition bloc which put pressure on the government. Under that voting system, citizens could select four candidates using four votes of equal weight, which meant candidates could call on supporters to cast their additional ballots for allies in the 50-seat legislature. Under the new system, Kuwaitis get one vote only. To match Feature KUWAIT-TRIBES/ REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee/Files
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