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Former Kuwaiti lawmaker charged with insulting emir plans new protests to press for reform

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KUWAIT CITY — A Kuwaiti opposition group led by a former lawmaker convicted of making comments considered insulting to the ruling emir says it plans to launch a series of street protests to press for reform in the Gulf state.

PHOTO: FILE - In this Monday, April 22, 2013 file photo, former member of parliament Musallam al-Barrack is greeted by supporters outside the Justice Palace in Kuwait City. A Kuwaiti opposition group led by Al-Barrack, a former lawmaker convicted of making comments considered insulting to the ruling emir, said Saturday, April 12, 2014, that it plans to launch a series of street protests to press for reform in the Gulf state. Al-Barrack said his reform agenda includes allowing people to run for the position of prime minister. Currently, prime ministers are appointed by the emir and are from the ruling family. (AP Photo/Gustavo Ferrari, File)
FILE - In this Monday, April 22, 2013 file photo, former member of parliament Musallam al-Barrack is greeted by supporters outside the Justice Palace in Kuwait City. A Kuwaiti opposition group led by Al-Barrack, a former lawmaker convicted of making comments considered insulting to the ruling emir, said Saturday, April 12, 2014, that it plans to launch a series of street protests to press for reform in the Gulf state. Al-Barrack said his reform agenda includes allowing people to run for the position of prime minister. Currently, prime ministers are appointed by the emir and are from the ruling family. (AP Photo/Gustavo Ferrari, File)

Former lawmaker Musallam al-Barrack announced the plans at a gathering Saturday. He says his reform agenda includes allowing people to run for the position of prime minister. Currently, prime ministers are appointed by the emir and are from the ruling family.

Al-Barrack is known in Kuwait for an October 2012 speech where he suggested that the emir was trying to turn the country into an "autocracy." He was sentenced to 5-years imprisonment, but was allowed to remain free on bail after he refused to surrender to authorities and his supporters fought security forces.

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