Kuwait cabinet quits to thwart grilling of PM

November 29, 2011

Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has accepted the resignation of the government, but has asked it to continue running the affairs of the country until a new cabinet is formed.

The government tendered its resignation yesterday afternoon following an emergency meeting chaired by the Emir.

The resignation was accepted ahead of a rally yesterday evening and a move to grill Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah, the prime minister, by opposition lawmakers who had vowed to increase pressure in “an inexorable move to force the government to step down.”

The resignation of the government and the dissolution of the parliament have been key demands by opposition MPs who, after repeatedly failing to unseat Shaikh Nasser over the last two years, said that they would resort to street pressure tactics to force a change of the government.

Seizing on media allegations that political money had been deposited in the bank accounts of more than a dozen MPs to influence their voting, the opposition has pushed for the grilling of the premier over the issue.

A first quizzing attempt last week failed, but the opposition was adamant on making a fresh grilling move to put pressure within the National Assembly and ensure support from the street, making a showdown between the government and some MPs inevitable.

Shaikh Nasser has been prime minister since February 2006 when he was appointed to head Kuwait’s 22nd government since independence in 1963. He has been reappointed six times as prime minister, the last time in April 2011, following almost two years of interrupted leadership, the longest in his about six years as the head of the government.

Opposition lawmakers led a group of protesters who stormed the parliament building on November 16 after clashing with riot police. Kuwaiti police on November 23 began arresting activists in connection with the incident. Opposition supporters gathered outside the Justice Palace for the last five nights to protest the detentions, while some of those detained have begun a hunger strike.

Kuwait has been locked in a long-running political battle between the government and the 50-member parliament.




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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