Kuwait PM faces on-cooperation vote

December 29, 2010

Kuwaiti opposition lawmakers filed a motion of non-cooperation against the prime minister on Tuesday, a step that may prompt the Emir to reshuffle the cabinet or dissolve parliament.

The motion, which is to be voted on in a session on January 5, came hours after lawmakers questioned Prime Minister Shaikh Nasser Mohammad Al Sabah in a closed session over alleged violations of the constitution and public freedom.

Kuwait’s parliament will vote on the motion at a session that will most likely mark the culmination of the three-week long vitriolic standoff that has pitted opposition lawmakers against Shaikh Nasser.

Parliament Speaker Jassem Al Khorafi said that the 10 lawmakers made the non-cooperation motion move in line with the Kuwaiti constitution and parliament bylaws.

Three opposition blocs this month filed a motion to question Shaikh Nasser following clashes between anti-riot police and lawmakers and their supporters at a rally on December 8.


The government said that the police were seeking to maintain law and order and that some of the participants taunted them.

However, the opposition said that the onslaught was premeditated and that the prime minister as head of the government should be held responsible.

The move against Shaikh Nasser, and not against the interior minister who is in charge of law and order, underlined the political overtones that have marked relations between Shaikh Nasser and some opposition figures since parliament reconvened after the summer recess.

A move by the government to hold the grilling session behind closed doors soon turned into an acid test for MPs.

According to media sources in Kuwait, 27 lawmakers opposed the closed-session move, while 21 MPs were in favour. However, the 15 ministers who were present at the session and who had the right to vote backed those who wanted a closed session.

In their quizzing, MPs Saleh Al Mulla, Jamaan Al Harbash and Muslim Al Barrak repeatedly referred to the police onslaught and used video footage to support their arguments.

Shaikh Nasser replied to the arguments before the MPs were given an hour to comment on his statements. The session was suspended at around 5pm for 30 minutes. Shaikh Nasser argued his case again when the session resumed before MPs supporting and opposing the questioning were allowed to present their arguments alternately.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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