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A Kuwaiti group calling itself Fifth Fence is using Twitter messages for calls to rise up against “undemocratic practices” by the government, which has been under increasing pressure from opposition lawmakers over allegations of fiscal abuse and attempts to roll back political freedoms.

On Sunday, Kuwait’s rulers accepted the resignation of the scandal-battered interior minister in an apparent attempt to undercut the protest plans. It seems to have bought them some time.

The protest group had called for a rally outside parliament for Tuesday but postponed it until March 8 “in response” to the interior minister’s stepping down. The statement, however, repeated its goal of forcing out the entire government.

In Bahrain, meanwhile, a Facebook page and other websites carry appeals for an anti-government demonstration on Feb. 14, the anniversary of the country’s 2002 constitution that brought in an elected legislature and reforms such as allowing women to vote and run for office.

The tiny island kingdom has been the most volatile in the Gulf. Majority Shiites have long claimed discrimination and other abuses by Sunni rulers. A wave of arrests of Shiite activists last year touched off weeks of protests and clashes — and a highly sensitive trial of 25 Shiites accused of plotting against the state. The next trial session initially was set for Thursday but has been postponed for Feb. 24.

“The Gulf states are not that far removed from what has happened in Tunisia and Egypt,” said Ali Fakhro, a political analyst and commentator in Bahrain. “Why? Because all Arab youth have similar demands: jobs, freedom, a feeling they are not oppressed by their leaders. The Tunisian revolution, as well as Egypt, is spreading new principles and a new definition for Arab youth.”

The impression of a political hunger in the Gulf can seem at odds with the widely held perception of a passive citizenry content with generous state handouts and cushy public-sector jobs. Kuwait, for example, is giving every citizen the equivalent of about $3,600 and free food coupons this month to mark 50 years of independence and other anniversaries.

But Gulf governments are trying to shrink their bloated payrolls. They also face the lopsided demographics that fueled their stunning growth: a glut of foreign companies and workers that squeeze out opportunities for young locals.

The UAE and others are pressing to enforce quotas for businesses to hire nationals in an effort to avoid a backlash from university graduates with limited job options.

Last month, the New York-based group Human Rights Watch accused Gulf states of stepping up pressure on political activists, including blocking blogs and Web forums.

The attention on human rights is “very, very new for the region,” said Ahmed Mansour, a human rights activist and a blogger in the UAE. “But they are starting to express themselves.”