Kuwait's ruler says that authorities will take all possible measures to quell growing opposition protests in the oil-rich Gulf nation.

The tough tone Monday by Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah is seen as a message to protesters that security forces are ready to expand their crackdowns before parliamentary elections Dec. 1.

Opposition groups, including Islamist factions, have accused the country's Western-backed rulers of widespread corruption and attempts to muzzle dissent.

But the emir says he would not allow "chaotic rallies" to disrupt the country.

On Sunday, police clashed with thousands of demonstrators defying government orders banning protest marches.

Kuwait has the most politically empowered parliament among the Gulf Arab states and the outcome of next month's vote is a critical test for both the opposition and ruling system.