KUWAIT CITY - Kuwait plunged into political turmoil on Friday after the public prosecution ordered the detention of three former opposition MPs for three days with more arrests expected. The three - Falah al-Sawwagh, Bader al-Dahum and Khaled al-Tahus - were questioned for nine hours on accusations of undermining the status of Kuwait’s ruler before being taken into custody around midnight, defence lawyer Mohammad al-Jumaih said. Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah will give a televised address to the nation at 1700 GMT Friday, the royal court announced without providing details about the previously unscheduled speech.

The prosecutor also extended the detention for three more days of four opposition activists arrested on Monday during clashes between police and protesters following a huge rally. The move came as hundreds of supporters of the Islamist and nationalist-led opposition and former lawmakers gathered outside the Palace of Justice in the capital, Kuwait City, in solidarity with the ex-MPs and activists. Local media and activists said more arrest orders will be issued soon against several former lawmakers including outspoken opposition leader Mussallam al-Barrak on the same accusations. The opposition leaders are being summoned for speaking at three rallies held this month to protest an alleged government plan to amend the electoral law to manipulate election results.